I have been reading a history of what transpired in the U.S. during the decade of the 50’s. A chapter on the development of “the pill” and contraception had a statement that in the early part of the 20th century the Church forbade Ceasarian Section for delivering babies. I don’t recall ever reading or hearing of such a thing in my 60 some years of adulthood. Anyone out there who can enlighten me or is this statement simply a falsehood.
I’ve never heard of that. As far as I know, cesaereans’ were never forbidden…why would they be forbidden?
Would it have been forbidden for mothers who wanted it just to avoid the ordeal of childbirth, rather than for sound medical reasons?
Got no idea…just wondering.
To be honest it makes sense a bit. I have heard reasoning that condoms were bad because they are interfering with a God given natural process. C sections would be doing the same thing, right?
until somebody can provide a source for such a prohibition, which I never heard of, it is useless to speculate. What the Church did forbid, and still does, is any medical intervention in childbirth whose direct intent is to kill the infant for the purpose of saving the mother’s life. That was a story line in a lot of old movies and books, I think the Cardinal is one.
Saint Raymond Nonnatus (see here) was born by Caesarian section in 1204.
Under your logic nobody should ever have any kind of surgical operation which of course is ridiculous!
Thanks everyone for trying. I have been doing some internet searches and so far have come up empty. I remember reading that story, titled The Cardinal, and feeling really sad. I was in my early teens at the time. The date in the history book for this incident happened to Dr. Rock was 1925, so I suppose 1917 Canon law might apply.
A foolish thought, wherever it originated.
Just for everyone’s edification, had my two children not been born by C-section, they both would have died. Not every body cooperates with natural birth, despite extraordinary measures.
I am pretty sure that the Church does not, and will not, ever, forbid it.
My child was born trough C-section, and for very good medical reasons - attempting a normal delivery would have put both his and his mother’s lives at stake, because he was a very well developed (heavy) infant, he was also facing the wrong way in the womb, and my wife had had an surgical procedure to her pelvic bones which meant she was not allowed to go through normal dilatation.
However, when it comes to cases where there is no medical reason whatsoever, like young, healthy mothers, who simply want to avoid the pain, I think there is a moral issue involved.
At the very least, I know of some doctors in my city who will not perform C-sections unless medically necessary.
for the record, the situation in this book did not deal with C-section but what today would be called a late-term surgical abortion
This may be something you have “heard” but it is not the Church’s teaching on why contraception is immoral. Contraception is not immoral based on “interfering with a God given natural process.”
Thanks Annie, that was not made clear in the book “The Fifties” by Halberstam. As it was stated it seemed totally out of sync with anything I had ever read or heard before.