Is abortion ever medically necessary to save the life of the mother?


If there is no official position of the Church on this matter, I prefered that.

It is a sensitive question and ask a mother to sterilized herself to save her life if alternative is possible is at least cruel.

I know that it is a sensible question and it is hard to localized the child at this early stage of the pregnancy. (I know that it is difficult, have heard some cases). So sometimes, sadely, some children are possibly aborted when they are inside the womb. But it will be far worse, if a tube might be remove for nothing. (don’t know if it had ever happened, just my hypothesis).


Ok, now I am starting to understand your question.
Are you asking if there are medical situations when the only way of saving the mother is to make an immoral choice?

I am fairly sure there are in theory but it would require a medical specialist to confirm that the medical details in any actual case match what the theologians posit.

Before caearians became routine and low risk many a mother died in childbirth due to Catholic fathers not allowing the baby to be sacrificed I believe.

You already know it is against the 5th for individuals to directly kill.

But as I hinted above, in such tragicly difficult circumstances it was likely such fathers who did sacrifice their child were under extreme duress and so only sinned venially.


Yes somewhat. I’m asking if there are medical situations where the only way of saving the mother is to make an immoral choice (i.e. medical procedures that are condemned by the Church).


Ok, I think I have answered that now.

By the way the Church doesnt really condemn certain medical procedures.

Its a bit more circumspect than that at a theological level (of course the Church can bann certain procedures simply by its disciplinary authority which is not the same thing).
Many Catholics thus think use of all contraceptives is immoral. Its more complicated than that.

The Church says certain types of choice are immoral, not simply the visible “procedure” .
Virtue and vice, personal sin and personal grace reside in the soul not the body.


So let me ask you this to further complicate the situation. If a mother chooses NOT to have even an indirect abortion even though she realizes that not doing so will most probably result in her own death as well as that of her baby, is this considered by the Church as suicide? Let’s say she decides this primarily because of the smallest of hopes that her baby might survive. With this intent, is she regarded as a suicide or a martyr?


Was wondering when that question would arise!

The usual answer is that we do not sin in allowing nature to take its course if intervention is not routine, difficult or risky.


If you’re being dumb, I’m also dumb. It seems like some of the replies don’t want to answer you directly because they are afraid of what the direct answers are, so they obfuscate by taking around in circles and telling you that you aren’t asking the right questions.

From what I DO understand from

Question 4. What does the Magisterium say about the moral liceity of these three procedures?

Reply: The Magisterium is silent on these three specific procedures. There appears to be universal acceptance of salpingectomy among ethicists. Removal of the tube indirectly causes the death of the embryo. There is less agreement on the use of methotrexate, and there are strong concerns about the moral liceity of salpingostomy, which appears to be a direct attack on the embryo. Nonetheless, in the absence of magisterial direction, the use of any of these procedures becomes a matter of conscience. In the face of the certain death of the embryo regardless of the procedure used (or not used), one may weigh what is proportionately bene cial to preserve a woman’s fertility.

is that the Church accepts abortion in these cases.

Period. No need to start to cloud the issue with “direct” and “indirect,” or intent, or whatever.


I have heard that by the time an ectopic pregnancy is discovered, the embryo is usually already dead anyway. I was told this by a priest who used to be a medical doctor.


OK, thanks for your reply.


The Church does NOT accept (direct) abortion and regrets the need for indirect abortion.
The issue above is simply whether or not they constitute direct or indirect abortion.

The jury is still out so we are free to decide that for ourselves.

If we decide these procedures are examples of indirect killing they may be acceptable moral choices.

Like I mentioned, it is correct application of moral principles to new medical understandings that is key…not any particular procedure that is to be irreversibly condemned.


There have been very rare cases where this is untrue, however, they are medical mysteries. If you google you will find these rare occurrences.


In the USA (I am not sure where you live) physicians will honor the request of the mother. If I tell the physician that I am morally opposed to killing my embryo with chemicals, they will respect those wishes and proceeded with the method that complies with my religious beliefs.

In our country, doctors are not dictators.


We are not required to use extraordinary means to save our own lives.

The question is, what is ordinary and what is extraordinary.

In such a case, the couple and physicians would want to reach out to a mental health professional and to the Moral Ethics expert at their Diocese. They would also want to consult with the NCBC.


They are dictators… yet. There are some who want doctors opinions to trump religious belief. Jehovah’s Witnesses often have issues with this.


And this can be confirmed by simple blood tests.


Yet the laws of our nation protect the religious beliefs of JWs.


In Canada :canada: if a youth needs a blood transfusion but the parents refuse because they are JWs, the government can come in and give the transfusion because the right to life takes precedence over religious freedoms (it’s something like that).


The rule generally is that the right to life for minors takes precedence. So an adult is free to refuse a blood transfusion if it is against their religious beliefs, but they’re not allowed to practice them in a way that could lead to death or serious injury of a minor child.


This is also true in the United States. Judges do overrule religious objections for minor patients (when the alternative is death or probable death).


Yes. Hence why I used the reference to a minor

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