Is this Chrisian love the woman?


In march I had an eggleader pregnancy. About a month pregnant I was quickly admitted to the hospital and put on the top of the list for surgeries. There was blood in my stomach. I was very sad because I had been looking forward to becoming a mother for the first time and also I was now concerned about my future chances of becoming a mother. Next morning I was on the operation table. When I woke up the doctor told me everything had gone well. The pregnancy had been removed but luckily my eggleader had been okay enough that I could keep it - which is also healthy and good for my hormone balance. Also he said that in case there will be problems with the other eggleader as well, the first eggleader might be restored through plastic-surgery, so that I still will have a chance to become a mother. I was of course happy to still have my eggleader, and to have a doctor who had done all that he could so that I could have a chance to become pregnant again at a later time and to keep my body as full and healthy as possible.
But now as I came home I understood through my reading on that according to catholic teaching this procedure was not okay. That what I had was actually an abortion. That according to church teaching the only right thing in such a situation would have been to remove my whole eggleader, so that according to CT I did not just have the child removed and thus an abortion, but instead tecnically a diseased part of my body which happened to contain an unborn child. Now I am honestly very scandalized. A woman with an eggleader pregnancy will most often be in life danger and feel terribly sad for losing her child. Is it love from the side of the church to demand that a woman has to be mutilated in order that you can tecnically say she did not have an abortion? The way I see it, in a case like this, the child cannot be helped but the mother can be more or less helped, and to say that the mother should not be helped in the best way possible looks like anything but the love of Christ to me… I am speechless at that. Now I have to say that for this reason I have also not confessed my “abortion” to any priest and I receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament without second thoughts. Is it really the stand of the Church that a woman should not be helped because of a tecnical term? Should the life of the child that has no chance of survival be deemed of greater worth than the womans body and life which can be helped? Please tell me I have misunderstood everything because I am very frustrated!!
PS I have been a faithful and obedient catholic in everything this far, but this teaching has brought me into a great crisis about the Church.


Is this the same as an ectopic pregnancy? If so, the church does allow you to remove the foetus as it is not viable and not having surgery would lead to death of the baby and possibly death for the mother also.


I am assuming you mean an ectopic pregnancy, where the fetus begins forming in the fallopian tube and not the uterus?

If so, you have not had an abortion. The child would never have made it to term and the health risk to you was dangerous. This is not against Church teaching.


From what I understand, in the case of ectopic pregnancy, if the tube is removed that is morally acceptable.

There is a new procedure where they open the tube and remove the fetus only, that is in effect an abortive process.

Go to confession - God forgives, you did not CHOOSE this procedure.


So wait, if the doctor just wholesale removes the tube, thus guaranteeing at least a 50% cut in her fertility, that is morally acceptable. But if he can save her life AND her tube, giving her the possibility of conceiving again using that tube, that isn’t morally acceptable? The baby is not going to make it either way, and ectopic pregnancies can and do kill mothers.

It seems to me that the second choice is the more pro-life of the two. I don’t understand this at all. :confused:


I agree. I think this can’t possibly be right. My priest says that ectopic pregnancies can be ended. Period.


From what I have read, kage_ar is correct. Take a look at:

Scroll down to the portion on ectopic pregnancies. It is a sad situation to be in, and I can understand why the OP would have thought that she was making the right choice. Morally speaking, removing the fallopian tube would have been the right choice.


You didn’t choose to take out your baby, the doctor did. He put you out for surgery and took it out. You didn’t do anything wrong, you didn’t know what he was going to do. We’ll pray for you and your baby.


That is awful. Is EWTN always right? Surely they have made a mistake. This does not make sense.


Seek the counsel of your Priest.

A direct abortion is not a morally acceptable manner to treat an ectopic pregnancy. In order to treat an ectopic pregnancy the embryo must not be directly harmed, this means that the fallopian tube (eggleader) is removed if the embryo is alive at the time of treatment (a woman cannot take medication to hasten his/her death) unless the embryo can be determined to have died (natural causes only) then the embryo alone can be removed. The removal of the tube is treated the same as removing any other damaged organ, the death of the embryo is not intended but an indirect effect of treating the mother.

The life of the mother is perserved in these cases and the life of the preborn human (the child) is not ended directly. Perserving fertility is not considered the same as her life or the life of another person. Both the lives of the mother & the child have equal worth to God.

However, it seems that you were unaware of the Church teaching of what is permissible to treat an ectopic pregnancy when this occured & if you did have a direct abortion you did not intend to commit sin.

Now you are hurting from both the loss of your child and just the suggested possibility that you unintentionally had an abortion. I am just so very sorry for this & the loss of your child. I have endured several losses & it is beyond painful. I will pray for you :gopray2:

Again, seek the counsel of your Priest either way. Don’t take an answer forum as the final say. Go to your Priest and ask for his guidance.


Catholic Answers says the same thing as EWTN:


This has been discussed MANY times in the Moral Thelogy forum. What you are talking about is removing the tube, vs just ending the pregnancy (cut into tube & remove baby, or drugs to induce a checmial abortion without loosing the tube)

In short - there has been NO definitive, ex cathedra statement, but there have been many statments by bishops and moral theologians that all tend to say the same thing. Removing the tube is clearly treating a medical condition of a defect in the tube (the baby wouldn’t be there if there wasn’t a defect), but directly removing the baby by itself seems to meet all the characteristics of a direct abortion, which makes it immoral.

While we value fertility we should not place it above what is morally right. In a sense, that is the same arguement people use for IVF- “God wants us to multiply so we should be allowed to do anything we can think of to have a child, even if those things are morally wrong.” It just ain’t so. These people also tend to use the “loving God wouldn’t want me to suffer by not having a baby” arguement. The real problem is that people think “loving God”= I must get what I want. I want a baby, I want to get a divorce, I want to be happy and this makes me happy. It applies to lots of situations.

People often try to gray the argument by trying self defense (protect the mother from the attacking child) but the child is not attacking, it just happens to be in the wrong place. It also doesn’t work to say it is double effect (a side effect of a medical treatment) Directly removing a baby is not a medical treatment. Removing a defective tube is a treatment, and I pray for the day when they can remove the baby from the tube and place it in the uterus where it belongs! But directly removing or chemically killing the baby only constitutes a direct abortion, not a medical treatment or a side effect.

We can not directly kill an innocent person to save ourselves. It is like saying I can kill you and take your organs because I need a transplant and God would want me to live. Just because the person isn’t born yet, doesn’t change things.

If you did not know ahead of time all the details of what was going to be done, or that it was against church teaching, then it is not a mortal sin, but you might want to talk to a good preist for counseling anyway. It sounds like you might have some anger, frustration, or possible feelings of unintentional guilt that you might want to work through. The worst thing you want to do is fume over it and let it drive you away from the church. This is a complex moral issue and you may need to take to come to understand why the church teaches this, when typical societal veiws are so different.


TAS2000 - you say that In short - there has been NO definitive, ex cathedra statement…isnt that the end of it then? Until the Mother Church definitively makes a decision based on this arent we just getting opinions? I know that different priests say different things to different people in different circumstances? Just curious.



Well, the Catechism is pretty definitive. It states that one may never directly abort a child AND that one may not commit an objective wrong even if much good may result from it.

In the case where a tube is removed, the woman’s life is saved and the child is not directly aborted. It is nice to preserve fertility but that is nothing compared to a life.

As has been stated before, many times the doctor can determine that the baby has already died and then either procedure would be morally acceptable.

There is the added problem that, if just the baby is removed and the tube repaired, there is a much greater chance of future ectopic pregnancies. That is not a very good outcome.


Annibc, I’m so sorry for the loss of your baby. We don’t know the state of your baby at the time of the surgery. He/She could have already died or the tube had burst and it was not an abortion at all. Also you seemed to not understand the church teaching at the time so I don’t think it was a mortal sin. I’m glad you are looking into it now.

Read the following.

I also have this paper but it is technical and and not spaced properly in the file. The moral considerations begin at the end of page 13 and continue on. I’m not sure if there will be a language issue as well. I’ve never heard the term “eggleader” before so I’m not sure if the terms in the paper will make sense to you.

I know it seems difficult for a mother to understand but we can’t do evil to make something good come out of it . An abortion is evil , always.


Hi everybody,
I am happy that so many of you answered, and also happy to see that my immediate sense of what is right is shared by many others.
The truth is that before I was operated on the doctor told me he would do everything he could to save my egg-leader. I was very greatful to God when I woke up, that the doctor had succeeded at this.
Honestly, I am completely frustrated if the Church has more love for its legalism than it has for my life, my body and my dreams of becoming a mother. As I see it there are two people in this senario, a mother and a child. The Child has no future, no hope of life. The mother on the other hand can and should be helped as much as possible… Honestly I cannot follow the statement that it is an abortion if we remove the child alone, without the eggleader, because the child also dies if you remove it IN the eggleader. I would compare it with saying: if we take the baby out in a body bag it is morally acceptable, but if we take the baby out alone, it is not morally acceptable.
I have to tell you people that I am happy I did not have any knowledge of such craziness before my surgery - I followed my God-given conscience - and I want to make it clear that If I experience the same again tomorrow, I will mourn the loss of my unborn baby, but I will still choose to have that saved which CAN be saved. It is IMORRAL to take a life - that is absolutely correct - but so is taking the life of an organ which has no valid reason to be removed in this case whatsoever, other than serving a legalism which has become absurd.
Let us again remember that Jesus revolved against a law system that was upheld at the expense of the individual. “Man is not created for the sake of the Shabbat but the Shabbat is created for the good of man” Jesus Christ said. In Jesus,



This poor woman is in no need of confession. If she didn’t CHOOSE the procedure, she didn’t sin.

I am sorry for your loss.


I have been in the exact same situation as this woman. While I had the tube removed, believe me - there is a feeling of loss and guilt that a mother has in this situation and the healing grace of the Sacrament of Reconcilliation is the absolute best advice I can give.

I did not choose to have my child die without baptism, please know - I needed to discuss that in the Confessional when I finally had the chance.


I still think it stinks. Removing the tube or removing the baby has exactly the same result. Therefor they are either both direct abotions or both direct treatments. IMO


But the methods of how we treat ectopic pregnancy are not the same means and that’s the issue. The end result may be generally the same (in that the child’s life cannot be saved) but the means of how we achieve the ends matter equally. We all will die, regardless what anyone does but how we die matters (mean), even if the end result of our no longer being alive is the same (the end). It seems like semantics but really it’s not.

This is a very hard to accept as a woman who really wants to have children in these types of situation, but no one is prevented from being a mother because of it even if chances of biological motherhood are decreased. There is still the possibility of biological motherhood if the other fallopian tube is healthy or motherhood via adoption. Fertility is ideally perserved in any case where there is no direct intention to abort or act in a way that uses unjust means.

Again for the OP I really encourage you to seek counsel from your Priest and prayer. Either way you have lost a child and are suffering from this, you need God’s love & mercy to help you heal from this. :gopray2:

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