Abortion and the law

First off I am not currently catholic but I am dating a catholic and researching/considering conveting. Now I would consider myself a non-denomination Christian.

I have a thought that may not be popular on abortion and wanted to get some feedback/opinions…

From a personal/religous/moral standpoint I am against abortion. I follow the belief that life begins at conception and that abortion is wrong. However, I do not think that the goverment should make abortion illegal. I feel they would be abusing their power by doing so. I feel like even though I believe it is wrong, it remains a personal choice that a woman should be able to make for herself.

A lof of people are going to argue what’s the difference between murdering an adult that has been born and murdering an unborn child. From a personal level I do not believe their is a difference but from another stand point I do believe there is a very very thin line. I am reading catholicism for dummies to develop a better understanding of catholic beliefs (I would recommend this book for people considering converting to catholism btw as it has been helpful to me). At one point in the book it is talking about divine law, natural moral law, human law etc…It defines natural moral law as “unwritten but known by ALL men and women who have the use of reason”. It states that people from all civilizations and relgions who are born with reason know that certain things such as murder are wrong (weather they choose to do it anyway is a different story). I can follow and agree totally that murder of a human who has been born fits this definition. When we talk about abortion it’s not quite so clear. In my mind I see abortion as wrong but obviously there are lots of people out there who don’t believe there is anything wrong with abortion. Based on the definition above, ALL men and women with reason must know. Obviously this is not the case with abortion or it would not be such a controversial issue and would not have been legalized in the US in the first place. So that is the small distinguishing difference I see between abortion and the murder of a human who has been born.

So I believe that if a person is a Christian and follows God’s law they will determine that abortion is wrong. But I do not feel it is the goverment’s job to regulate morality. Based on the definition above I see murder of a born human a legal and religious/moral issue but have to believe that abortion is a religious/moral issue only.

Please do not berate me for my understanding/thoughts on the issue. I hope this can turn into a legitimate discussion and now just arguing back and forth. Maybe if I hear the right counterpoint it can change my views…

Also, would this viewpoint affect my ability to join the Catholic church since from a personal stand point I am still prolife?

I’m also curious about this. For me, I’m considering converting but I am currently in law school getting my JD as well as in grad school getting a masters in bioethics so that I can work in biomedical genetic engineering and stem cell research. Could this cause the church to not " accept" me?

Thanks for the reply lml. Your concern is kinda heading in a different direction then my original post so it may be easier to start a new discussion with your question to make this easier to follow…I’m new here though so don’t take my comment as the law…in my experiance on other message boards though it is usually better to start a new topic in such instances…

No no, I don’t mean to hijack your thread, just wanted to add my own curiosity to your question and one of your points. I’m awaiting others answers :slight_smile:

That is generally correct. If you believe a soul begins at conception then abortion is wrong. If a soul is developed later in life through trials and tribulations then is abortion murder?

To an extent they must. Laws are just the extension of general community morality. As such, to maintain order a regulatory body is needed to uphold the popular morality of the day.

I’m in agreement with you here :thumbsup:

Do you believe morality to be subjective? Does law dictate morality? Does a soul begin at conception? What constitutes a person? Are people worthy of life? Are some people worthy of death? If so what attributes?

If you’re pro-life I don’t think there’s an issue.

I don’t mean to hijack your thread either, but I’m going to be a medical student soon.
I would never participate in an abortion and the school dosen’t require you too.

However, if someone wanted an abortion, and I would have to refer her to someone else. Is refering, that is allowing someone else to sin, a sin itself?

I know if you make someone else sin or lead them to sin, you commit the sin. Would this be a mortal sin?

What is your obligation legally to your client? Must you refer them, or can you just say no? But I would suspect that by refusing the act you are not sinning. What can you physically do to stop someone having an abortion?

Legally, I don’t think I can do anything physically.

Maybe I will look into if further. I’m not sure if I am legally obligated to refer someone but I think the school’s protocol would to refer them to someone else.

Like if someone wanted a Plan B pill, maybe I can just say No, and hopefully I won’t have to say anything else. We are not allowed to push our beliefs on the patient.

Well maybe it won’t be a mortal sin because, since I don’t know that it is, and if the school requires me to, then it won’t be a mortal sin anyways because it’s not the “full consent of my will”

I would have more freedom to discourage someone as an actual doctor and but now I am only a student.

There is a pharmacist in my town who does not fill birth control prescriptions, sell condoms, etc. If someone comes in wanting to get their prescription for the pill, he tells them they will have to go somewhere else. He gets a lot of critisism, but at the same time he gets a lot of support.

Yeah, this is the statement that I didn’t want to say, because it could cause someone else to sin by giving the pill. But as you said, I think refusing to do these heinous acts or prescribing the pill is good in itself.

While within his right, I hope his customers reflect his decisions.

I am interested in this aspect of the topic as well since I work in a healtcare field but we are getting way off topic from my initial question/concerns…any other comments going back to the initial question?

Again forgive me, I’m not trying to be rude but in my experiance message boards tend to get off topic very easily and we lose sight of the original purpose of the post

Re: The med student… I live in canada, not sure where you are, but my friend is a doc and she told me that when people ask her for abortions she simply says " I can’t help you with that, you need to go somewhere else" If people ask her why she says it plain and simple, it’s against my religion.
I would think that you can’t be forced to “help” someone in this situation because it would violate your rights. You aren’t really violating theirs because you aren’t preventing an abortion, you simply aren’t taking part in the process… JMHO

This is interesting to me because our Prime Minister (I’m canadian) recently stated at a G8 summit on international maternal health, that canada will not incorporate abortion into it’s program funding (YAY!!! SMALL VICTORY). You can imagine what a backlash this has created. Here are a few interesting points I have found. It’s just easier to paste them then to try and remember all the points that I had for you.

Parallels between Abortion & Slavery

Slavery in centuries past and abortions in this century were defended and promoted by the same arguments. Consider the case in the USA: In 1857, in the Dred Scott case, the US Supreme Court decided, by a 7 to 2 majority, that according to the US Constitution, black people were not legal persons. They were the property of the owner. He could buy, or sell, or even kill them. Abolitionists had objected. The ruling was outrageous, they said. It was immoral and discriminated against an entire class of living persons solely on the basis of skin colour. But those who supported slavery argued that if those who had a moral objection to slavery, didn’t have to own slaves. No one was forcing them to own slaves. But they also said: “Don’t force your morality on the slave owner. He has the right to choose to own slaves if he wishes.”

In a very similar decision just over one hundred years later, in 1973, in the Roe vs Wade Decision, the US Supreme Court decided that according to the US Constitution, by the same 7 to 2 majority, that unborn people were not legal persons. They had no civil rights, no human rights and were therefore, legally the property of the owner (the mother). She had the absolute legal right to keep or destroy her unborn baby. Pro-life people objected. The ruling was outrageous, they said. It was immoral and discriminated against an entire class of living people solely on the basis of age (too young) and place of residence (the womb). But those who support abortion argue that those who have a moral objection to abortion, don’t have to have abortions. The pro-abortionists say: “No one is fordcing you to have an abortion. But don’t force your morality on the mother. She has a right to choose to kill her developing baby if she wishes.”

Abraham Lincoln in the 19th century said: “No one has the right to do what is wrong.”

This country has just ended discrimination based on race. Are we now going to start discrimination on the basis of age? Saying:“I’m older than you, I’m bigger than you, I have a voice - therefore I can kill you.”

Indisputable Medical Evidence - the Unborn baby is a Human Being

Time Magazine and Rand McNally’s Altlas of the Body states, “In fusing together, the male and female gametes produce a fertilised single cell, the zygote, which is the start of a new individual.”

The Official Senate report on Senate Bill 158, the “Human Life Bill”, summarised the issue this way: “Physicians, biologists, and other scientists agree that conception marks the beginning of the life of a human being - a being that is alive and a member of the human species. There is overwhelming agreement on this point in countless medical, biological, and scientific writings.”

Everything that determines the individuality and originality of a person is established at conception. The first single cell contains the entire genetic blueprint in all its complexity.

  • The heart starts beating between 18 and 25 days.
  • Electrical brainwaves have been recorded at 43 days on an EEG. If the absence of a brainwave indicates death, why will pro-abortionists not accept that the presence of a brainwave is a confirmation of life?
  • The brain and all body systems are present by 8 weeks and functioning a month later.
  • At 8 weeks, the baby will wake and sleep, make a fist, suck his thumb, and get hiccups.
  • At the end of 9 weeks, the baby has his own unique finger prints.
  • At 11-12 weeks, the baby is sensative to heat, touch, light and noise. All body systems are working. He weighs about 28g and is 6-7.5 cm long.

He is fully developed before his mother’s pregnancy is even noticeable. This is the age of baby, that the government is saying can be killed for any reason whatsoever, without a waiting period for the mother to consider her decision.

From conception, the new person conceived is as deserving of the full protection of the law as any other person.

Adoption is a viable alternative to abortion and accomplishes the same result. And with 1.5 million American families wanting to adopt a child, there is no such thing as an unwanted child.

For women who demand complete control of their body, control should include preventing the risk of unwanted pregnancy through abstinence.

Those who choose abortions are often minors or young women with insufficient life experience to understand fully what they are doing. Many have lifelong regrets afterwards.

Today’s society is going down the crapper partly because of the disintigration of the nuclear family. I have three children, I couldn’t imagine picking one of them and deciding that one of them wasn’t worthy of existence.


i am younger and more ignorant than you, but you may consider saying “because of my religious beliefs i cannot preform this abortion or refer you to anyone who will, i can, however, refer you to the nearest Catholic/Christian health clinic where they will be able to counsel you on adoption or other options.”

As for your thoughts about the gov not meddling in morality issues. That’s precisely what the government is there for. Imagine if murder wasn’t illegal? :confused: Some one needs to steer the ship. Too bad they’ve lost the map…

Welcome and peace be with you,

First and foremost you must be pro-life in order to join the CC. You have already confirmed you are. However there is a need to understand your moral obligation to society. If a government is lead by the people then the people should reflect God’s Will. It is without a doubt that abortion is immoral regardless what arguments can be made. One may always say there are exceptions to the rule, but this is not the topic.

If we, as a christian Catholic community want to reflect God’s Will then we must choose a government that will do so, or in the least, maintain our community to uphold it. For instance, when it comes time to voting between a candidate that is for abortion or one that is against then you must choose according to your beliefs. Such was the case in your last presidential campaign. How many catholics, or christians will have to take account for having consciously voted for someone who supports abortion even at the full term of gestation and deny medical assistance outside the womb for those babies having survived abortions?

Obviously this is not part of the CC creed but if one wants to join then be prepared to change from within first to allow the truth to guide you; we ask that you trust the infallible teachings of the Church, using both your reason and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit conferred to you upon your baptism/confirmation. This mark that you will receive, should you convert, is an indelible Grace of God. With it you ‘should’ be able to discern moral issues in various societal predicaments. It must be noted that you are required morally and as a member to support what the Church teaches, otherwise you are a member in name only, not in true spirit. We have a name for such members, Liberal Catholics, I was one myself and saw the error in this trend.

May God Bless you on your journey.:thumbsup:

Well said:thumbsup: We should always keep in mind that not everyone is christian and so we can simply state that there are facilities that can offer other choices and help regardless of their faith, beliefs. Some people may get turned off if it seems that we are enforcing our religious views rather than inviting them to ‘real’ help… JMHO.

It is possible to know something deep in one’s heart, but deny it on some level. I remember in junior high, learning about abortion for the first time in my school science class. The school tried to present it in a neutral manner, however, the entire class was HORRIFIED. I, who had been raised a complete atheist, remember thinking, “That is disgusting - how can anyone kill their own baby?” Everyone’s sentiment seemed to run along those lines.

One to two years later, most of us were pro-choice, many of us vehemently so. What happened?

What happened was that we were then old enough to be bombarded with pro-choice propaganda. The issue, seemingly at first so simple, became obscured with lots of “what-ifs,” and rhetoric about “women’s rights” and so on. The natural, instinctive thought was, “How horribly wrong.” But once it became a political issue - “women must not be enslaved, must be equal to men, must have the right” etc - that obscured the truth. I personally forgot that I had ever had such a reaction to abortion, until I became pro-life (which happened before I became a Christian - it was strictly a matter of doing some research and using my reason) and had an actual flashback to that class. It was like even my original, honest reaction had been brainwashed out of me somehow; but remained deep down, and eventually reemerged.

Incidentally, my sister, several years later, found that her class had the exact same initial reaction mine had - namely, horror.

Women who have abortions often have stifled their sense of the natural law, because they are frightened about the future, desperate, ashamed that they have been sexually active out of wedlock, or their husbands/boyfriends are abusive, or any number of reasons. Sin and fear drive the knowledge of the natural law into hiding deep in their hearts so that they have the abortion - but it often resurfaces, perhaps years later or perhaps immediately. Watch some of the videos by post-abortive women from the Silent No More Campaign on Youtube and you will see what I mean. Here’s one to get started: youtube.com/watch?v=7a2k7AC2knQ&feature=related.

In short, the use of reason can be dulled by many things, and our knowledge of the natural law does not have to be fully conscious at all times. If it were, there would be a lot less sin! But our society denies the very existence of sin and is trying to erode the natural law from people’s consciousness. That’s why it’s important to develop an informed conscience - becoming actively conscious of the law written in our hearts.

Sorry about posting on this again, but I need to reply to this one…

I totally agree! I’m not even sure what the school protocol is but who cares? With God’s help this is what I’m going to say.

Thank you!

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