Can abortion ever be considered self defense? (Edited Title)

Is abortion permit if my pregnancy puts my life at risk? It would be the same case than killing in self-defense ?

I didn’t even know that Jesus taught, “killing in self defense” to be honest.

Direct abortion is never permitted, however, in some cases it may be permissible to perform a procedure which would result in the death of the child as an unintended effect, per the principle of “double effect.”

According to the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia:

The principle of double effect in the Church’s moral tradition teaches that one may perform a good action even if it is foreseen that a bad effect will arise only if four conditions are met: 1) The act itself must be good. 2) The only thing that one can intend is the good act, not the foreseen but unintended bad effect. 3) The good effect cannot arise from the bad effect; otherwise, one would do evil to achieve good. 4) The unintended but foreseen bad effect cannot be disproportionate to the good being performed.

I wouldn’t call a surgical procedure “self-defense” (since the unborn child is not an aggressor), however it is a similar moral principle at work. The Catechism states:

2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor. . . . The one is intended, the other is not.”

No, the child is not the aggressor in such a case. The “aggressor” if there is one is your own body and the child is a victim.

Even in a real case of self-defense, it is not moral to kill other victims instead of the aggressor in order to save your own life.

Not even close, in order for an action to qualify as self defense, some one has to be trying to harm you, in this case, if anything, the unborn is in need of help as much as you. Unless you think that in order to survive starvation, you would kill your healthy kids to eat them.

No. A direct abortion is never permitted. And would not be self defense for there is no aggressor.

If say a person has a cancerous womb that has to be removed and thus the child dies as an indirect unintended side effect of removing that organ --that is a different matter. One is not engaging in a direct abortion.

PS: The National Catholic Bioethics center in Phila can assist on various ethical questions -call them and ask to speak with an ethicist.

If you are pregnant – may St. Gianna interceed for you and yours

No you are choosing to sacrifice I a life for your own when the one endangering your life is not doing so intentionally

Pope John Paul II discussed the Church’s teaching on self-defense against an unjust aggressor and how it relates to abortion in his 25 March 1995 encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (55, 57-58) and concludes, “In no way could this human being [an innocent child in the womb] ever be considered an aggressor, much less an unjust aggressor!” (Evangelium Vitae, 58)


No, **but in all likelihood, there is an acceptable medical response to such a situation, that will keep you safe and well. ** In some cases, that response has the unintended consequence of the death of the baby.

Would a mother run into a busy street to save her baby; chancing death for her ad her baby? Why do firemen risk their lives for someone else’s baby in fires? Why are we so negative to babies in the belly?


I was just reading about St. Gianna Beretta Molla.



It is not possible for an innocent baby to be an unjust aggressor. You are very confused.

We live in a time when we do not even know what marriage or family is. And we call babies aggressors.

Where are the saints of our time? Like the ones killed by REAL aggressors. Saints who died for their faith, their beliefs and for those who could not defend themselves. Saints who said, not my life, but my brother’s life is sacred? Whipped, burned, shot, stabbed, tortured, beheaded, entire families destroyed and killed.

But now, in our time of hushed whispers of faith that are only allowed in Church and not in public.

Where God is spoken of shamefully and with a little bit of embarrassment.

A baby. An innocent. A life. Aggressor? Have mercy on us Lord. How long until your justice and mercy save us?

We live in dark times indeed.

No one said He did. But most Christian Churches including the Catholic Church teach that it is under certain circumstances. Circumstances that no baby since “Damian” from the Omen movies has been able to meet.

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