Abortion and contraception-is it ever acceptable?

Hello all,

I have stumbled across another issue. I was first discussing with a friend about abortion and he told me some of his opinions that challenged me. My friend said that abortion should be acceptable if a woman is raped, because that child will now remind her even more of the torment and pain of being raped. How an I refute this claim? My friend also claims that abortion should also be acceptable if the father runs off and now the mother has no support. My friend said that it is not right to let the child live because we are making that child suffer, because the mother will put the child in a foster home, and the living conditions of foster homes are atrocious. What are your thoughts on this?

The second question I have to ask, involves birth control and contraception.

My friend claimed that the catholic church caused millions of people in Africa to die of HIV due to the church promoting abstinence over contraception. is this true? My friend also said that the state of Mississippi has the highest rate of teen pregnancy, because the education system teaches abstinence instead of safe sex. We had another discussion about forced abortion in China under the “One Child Policy”. My friend said that the abortions were wrong, but it was acceptable because Chinese families at the time were having more than 10 children, and if the government never imposed the “one child” policy, there would be too much people for china to take care of. My friend believes that after each child the man should have a vasectomy. Is a vasectomy sinful? Now my last question. Is contraception acceptable to prevent overpopulation? My frend claims that it is impossible to love more than 3 children and a spouse because there are too much kids to look after. what are your thoughts? I’m trying to understand my friends viewpoint, but I think it is harsh to view each individual as a statistic instead of an individual as a beautiful creation with a soul. Advice anyone?

My thought on the first question: if the hypothetical unborn child was instead one week old, how does that change the discussion? Furthermore, does a child deserve to die because of the circumstances of his conception, or because of the circumstances of his home?

I see what you are saying. one other question. How do I refute the claim that abortion is okay at 3 weeks because science claims the child is just a clump of cells

They surely are throwing a lot of 'what if’s etc.

You could mention that a living, breathing, born adult human being is, by that same scientific criteria, also ‘just a clump of cells’. Why can’t we kill that person too?

My gosh, I thought that the old ‘clump of cells/tissue’ argument from the 1970s was long gone. . .

Here’s something to ponder.

Suppose we take a ‘clump of cells’ out of the body. Let’s say it’s like a bunch of fat cells. They die, right? And even if one could do a Frankenstein and keep them alive outside of the body, they would never grow, they’d just stay as is.

Same with a ‘clump of cells’ like the liver. Without intervention, everything dies, and even with, it just kind of ‘lies around’ and can’t do anything.

Now imagine one took out those clumps at one point of time, and if given just a little help, maybe some oxygen, or warming, those ‘clumps’ could not only function on their own, but they could GROW.

THAT is what happens to a human being. That ‘clump of cells’, at some point in time, even as little time as 5 months existence now, could be taken from the mother’s body and would not only be able to exist on its own but would continue to grow and thrive, unlike any other ‘clump of cells’.

Because that ‘clump of cells at 3 weeks’ is a living person, not a part of the mother’s body. And that ‘clump of cells’ is not made to function as part of the mother, but as an independent being. Not like a cancer, or even an extra organ, that has to jibe with all the other parts of the mother, but a new separate human being.

And, absent EXTRAORDINARY INTERVENTION from knives or chemicals, that ‘clump of cells’ will continue to grow until it is a full term child.

And there have been cases, very recent cases, where children IN THE UTERUS have been operated on to help them overcome illnesses. Pretty strange for a ‘clump of cells’, right?

The problem I find with society is that there seems to be no absolute right or wrong. People think that they should be able to have rights, but people always fail to realize the consequences that come with certain actions. Unfortunately we are all slaves to consequence and whatever action we do will always have a consequence, whether good or bad or neutral. Because maybe people don’t realize that aborting a child will have extreme consequences on the mother, even if she has been raped.

The Eastern Orthodox Church does not allow abortion, but in some cases a priest may allow contraception. For example, if a married couple with five children is having financial difficulties.

All of your questions can be answered with a brief study of the Catechism’s relevant paragraphs.

No, abortion is never permissible. And you will be hard-pressed to find women regretting having given birth to a child, no matter the circumstances, while the opposite does not hold true at all. But one’s own personal emotions are not the sole measure - or even the primary measure - of what makes an act right or wrong.

No, contraception (as a means of preventing conception in one’s freely chosen sex acts, in individual cases or habitually) is never permissible. And you may find some research on the myth of overpopulation helpful.

Abortion isn’t okay, it’s a sin. I believe in rights for women, but the rights for the woman can’t infringe upon the bigger right to life for the unborn. I don’t think the women should be responsible for bringing the child up. She could choose adoption and there are loads of families waiting to have a child.

And putting the child in a foster home isn’t the same as a death sentence. :frowning: Sheesh…

The Catholic Church teaches that BC isn’t allowed, but it also teaches that sex before marriage isn’t allowed and that only sex is allowed between straight married people. So if people have sex outside wedlock, than they aren’t following church teachings. Why do you think they would start listening to the church about BC?

I think abstinence and safe sex should be talked about. If people don’t want to refrain, than they should know about safe sex. I myself am also a sinner. (But this seems more of an American protestant thing(?).)

The part about China is a grotesque lie. It was some idea by a Dutch communist wich proposed the one child policy. The idea later got popular in China. And so we have this disaster over in China. The rule of one child is only for Han Chinese. And it is going to be changed to two child policy. But this rule brings about loads of children without their parents because they are illegal. Abortions. Forced abortions. Fees for people who still have children, despite this not being allowed. There’s no good in this AT ALL.

Overpopulation is a myth. The growth isn’t exponential. We have enough resources it’s time to share those better. Planet Earth can easily sustain 11 billion people. And since child per woman keeps decreasing, there certainly won’t be these exponential increases people have predicted. Their arguments are flawed big time.

A vasectomy is a sin. And you’d need to repent this with a priest.

And ofcourse can people love more than 3 children and a husband. People can love more than 15 children. People can even love more than one spouse. (altough that would be a sin :p)

That clump of cells is a human being that already exists and is already in the world? Why should any parent contemplate killing his or her child?

On the rape portion, an easy argument would be to ask the following. If your father robs a bank, should you be put in jail? 99.9% of people will answer no. So then the logical conclusion is that if your father rapes a woman, you shouldn’t be given the death penalty.

As for the three-week old, that ‘clump’ is a person. While zhe (gender neutral pronoun that means he/she [if my research is correct]) might not be able to live outside the mother yet, zhe still has the right to life because zhe is on the path to being self-sufficient and is growing.

You would impose the death penalty on the other innocent victim of the crime, when it even the rapist is subject to capital punishment?

My friend also claims that abortion should also be acceptable if the father runs off and now the mother has no support. My friend said that it is not right to let the child live because we are making that child suffer, because the mother will put the child in a foster home, and the living conditions of foster homes are atrocious. What are your thoughts on this?

So if the father takes off when the child is 2, it would be OK to kill the child so he/she would not be subject to a foster home?

The second question I have to ask, involves birth control and contraception.

My friend claimed that the catholic church caused millions of people in Africa to die of HIV due to the church promoting abstinence over contraception. is this true?

Uganda, the first African nation in which abstinence was encouraged, reduced its HIV rates more than any other African nation in the 1990s (last info I have).

My friend also said that the state of Mississippi has the highest rate of teen pregnancy, because the education system teaches abstinence instead of safe sex.

So, how do people get pregnant? By not using birth control? No, by engaging in sex.

Moreover, 13% of women coming for abortion report “perfect abc” use, and another reported problems with condoms.

We had another discussion about forced abortion in China under the “One Child Policy”. My friend said that the abortions were wrong, but it was acceptable because Chinese families at the time were having more than 10 children, and if the government never imposed the “one child” policy, there would be too much people for china to take care of. My friend believes that after each child the man should have a vasectomy. Is a vasectomy sinful?

Anything done to hinder pregnancy resulting from sexual activity is wrong. God made sex for more people, not for fooling around.

Now my last question. Is contraception acceptable to prevent overpopulation? My frend claims that it is impossible to love more than 3 children and a spouse because there are too much kids to look after. what are your thoughts? I’m trying to understand my friends viewpoint, but I think it is harsh to view each individual as a statistic instead of an individual as a beautiful creation with a soul.

Yes, you’re thinking the right way!

Advice anyone?

Pray for your friend.

That child is her own person, and she is half the mother. Honestly, why is the innocent child growing inside her mother’s womb condemned for something neither she nor her mother could have helped? Your friend needs to realize the injustice of this. Two wrongs do not make a right.

Though I do have a question on this topic. Because in the US for example, there’s a strong bloc for pro-choice, would it be permissible to increase legislation for contraception to reduce the abortion rate? (Did a little reading of the Forming Catholic Voter Conscience and I’m spitballing this from how it said it was permissible for a Catholic candidate to not fight for eliminating abortion, but just limiting it if eliminating it was realistically impossible.)

Direct abortion is NEVER permitted no matter what the circumstances are.

Artificial contraception for birth control purposes (that includes vasectomy) is NEVER permitted.

My friend thinks that society should come first before the individual. I don’t think that is correct exactly, because that’s how communism is. We discussed the problems with capitalism but communism is not the solution because it has failed already. By focusing on society we eliminate those who are weak. We forcefully sterilize women for the betterment of society, we abort for population control, we get rid of the elderly because they cannot work, etc. You basically do not love an individual but treat them as a statistic or a tool to keep society progressing. Communism forces people to become robots in the workforce instead of valuing each person as an independent individual as a soul, and can be discarded. I don’t understand why people such as my friend thinks a womans right to abort is okay, but it’s okay for a woman to have a forced abortion as long as it progresses society. It doesn’t make sense. You can’t fix the problems of capitalism with communism, you can only fix it with love for your fellow man

John 11:49-50… “But one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, ‘You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.’”

In Singapore the rights of society take priority over the rights of the individual and the rights of law abiding individuals take priority of the rights of criminals. Singapore is not communist. I know because I lived there for 14 years. Singapore is not only one of the top preferred places for foreigners to work and live but it is also a country where Catholicism is growing strongly.

I say this because you are totally wrong with your remark "By focusing on society we eliminate those who are weak. We forcefully sterilize women for the betterment of society, we abort for population control, we get rid of the elderly because they cannot work, etc.

I see. I am incorrect in this thought then. We should focus on society. However, do you think it is acceptable to forcibly sterilize women, allow population control, and send people to “education camps” and monitor people just to keep society progressing?

Should we be eliminating certain people (killing and contraception) just to keep society stable? What about those individuals affected by this policy, what about things from their perspective? The people who are unfit for society are casted out because they cannot contribute in a positive way? Shouldn’t we focus on inclusion of all peoples because each individual is a soul and is unique.

I do admit I may have a misunderstanding of your comment…so I may need some clarification.

None of these apply to Singapore. Can you tell me what countries you are talking about?

By the way early in this thread I said direct abortion and use of contraceptives for birth control are NEVER acceptable.

Sorry, I thought you were referring to this as saying that this is acceptable. my mistake. In societies that do this I meant china, Russia, Fascist policies of the Nazis, etc.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.