Pro Choice/Abortion “Catholics”


I know having or being involved in any way with an abortion is an automatic latae sententae excommunication for Catholics.

Does even just having pro choice views also incur excommunication? I do not have such views but I know “Catholics” who do, and of course there are many Catholic (mostly Democrat but some Republican) politicians who do as well. Can they really call themselves Catholic?


The Canon you refer to says that only those who “procure a completed abortion” can incur a latae sententiae excommunication. This is interpreted strictly, since a penalty is being levied. Therefore, the only people who incur this penalty are the mother, the doctor, and the person who paid for the procedure. And these three only incur the penalty if they meet the other conditions: they had to be aware of the penalty, and they had to freely perform the act in spite of knowing this.

So it isn’t “anyone who’s involved,” and it certainly isn’t politicians who speak up in favor of abortion or even vote for it who incur such a penalty. The law allows that those cases could be sanctioned by declared penalties. It really wouldn’t be necessary or helpful to make those other classes of people subject to an automatic penalty. You’d have to care that you’d be penalized in the first place.



For a so-called Catholic to maintain that it is licit to participate in an abortion after being corrected constitutes formal heresy, which carries latae sententae excommunication.


This is so wrong. “Any way” can be miles from the intent of the Canon Law, and from mortal sin.

Consider the young woman facing estrangement from her family or fear of the man who impregnated her, giving into pressure and aborting a baby…She is not automatically excommunicated any more than her salvation is in jeopardy.


Pro-choice Catholic politicians do not incur an automatic excommunication. There are other medicinal remedies that can be used to bring such flagrant, public sinners back to the fullness of the truth.

Dr. Ed Peters wrote about this very issue recently on his blog:

He is a preeminent canonical American scholar that has worked at several dioceses and seminaries. You would probably enjoy reading his entry about this issue.

I believe Catholic Answers has had him on as a guest before.

PS: the phrase you mean is spelled latae sententiae, FYI


Personally, I am disgusted by the Republican view. Republicans are NOT pro-life. They are pro-birth.

The facts is that you CANNOT have a free society if you force/control a woman’s body. Period. It is not a religious issue, it is a political, society and cultural issue.

That being said, it does not mean numerous regulations and policies can be put in place to stop women from needing to have abortions. If you want to reduce/stop abortions:

  1. Provide free contraception, without question (Dem > Rep)
  2. Provide health care for pregnant women so they can have healthy children ( Dem > Rep)
  3. Provide health care so children can grow up healthy (Dem > Rep)
  4. Provide sex education so young women understand the challenges they face. Abortion is NOT an alternative to birth control. (Dem > Rep)
  5. Fund foster care and support adoption (Dem > Rep)
  6. Fund medical research (ie, stem cells) to improve children’s health (Dem > Rep)
  7. Fund safety net programs and welfare so the poor can have families (Dem > Rep)
  8. Provide funded daycare and work return programs for women (and men) (Dem > Rep)

Yes, I also think there should be limits on abortion, perhaps 18-24 weeks. I don’t know the exact period. I’m torn about notifying parents. And I would never recommend an abortion to anyone in almost any circumstance. But regardless, I firmly believe that Democratic policies are far more useful for reducing abortions than Republican.

It is not surprising that the rate of abortions in the USA plunged under Clinton and Obama and basically were steady under Reagan and the two Bush’s. We’ll see what happens under Trump, but given the hatred, bigotry, sexism and flat out evil this man spews forth, I’d bet abortions stay steady or perhaps even rise under his administration.

The answer is to give women OPTIONS. I not only have a clear conscience supporting abortion rights given the above policies, I believe I have the moral high ground (Full disclosure, I am NOT a registered Democrat - but they seem to be the more Christian party nowadays). How can you claim Republicans have moral policies when they destroy our environment, poison our drinking water, give money to the rich, cripple our education system, take away people’s health care, take away support for the poor, take babies from immigrant mothers, lie on a daily basis, promote violence and bigotry and sexism, …I can go on and on.


i don’t think any catholic, much less a catholic “politician” should promote pro abortion/ “choice” policies/positions


this kind of heresy comes mostly from “blue-states”; some of which have nearly 40% demographically Catholic populations

yet the “politicians” from “blue-states” are the most rabidly, intense pro-abortion advocates

very sad…

and, frankly, completely inexcusable…


I don’t either. I wish every Catholic politician was 100% pro-life: from conception to natural death.

But, there are many politicians who call themselves Catholics who do whatever they wish, and believe whatever they wish.

The original poster asked a question about automatic excommunication; which is a canonical question. I answered accordingly, and gave a resource to learn more about this topic.

I doubt anyone on this website approves of Catholic politicians who support abortion, by the way.


Some do.


Women have an option: the option of not having sex when and with someone with whom they do not want to have children.

As for the rest, there is a definition corelation between the increase of aid, sex education, and artificial birth control and the increase in the number of abortions.

In addition, abortion rates among women 15-44 reached their peak in 1980 and 1981, then began to decline, occasionally erratically, until the present day. (


I believe that a society where a class of human beings are not given the right to life is inhumane.


No. It is stain on the faith for them to define themselves as such.


‘Late’ Catholic indeed…


Only a very few abortions are procured because of rape or incest.

Only half the women impregnated in rape have abortions.


Your statement implies all women have a choice and that simply isn’t true. FYI, I do not support abortion, but I recognize that not all women become pregnant by choice or have abortions by choice. Have a great day!


Yes, there is a small number of women who become pregnant through rape. Only half of these women procure abortions.

In the United States, 1 percent of 1,900 women questioned in 1987 listed rape or incest as the reason for having an abortion; of these, 95 percent named other reasons as well.[67] A 1996 study of thousands of US women showed that, of pregnancies resulting from rape, 50% were [aborted](, 12% resulted in miscarriage, and 38% were brought to term and either given up for adoption or raised.[12] (from:

Actually not true. The abortion rate among women 15-44 completed its rise in the first 2 years of Reagan’s presidency and declined thereafter. See my link above.


So what is your point? First you say that abortion is caused by poverty, which is not true, then you say abortion is caused by force in an undisclosed number of cases.

You bring up talking points of the advocates of legalized abortion while saying that you are against abortion.

You seem also to advocate the imposition of the death penalty on the baby conceived in rape, but I bet that you do not advocate imposing the death penalty on the rapist.


I don’t mean to make this a political topic but it’s always amazing that any argument opposing big government intervention and tax&spend somehow turns into “hating the poor, take away health care to make insurance companies rich, poisoning our water and air, loving wars, taking from poor and giving to rich, crippling our education system, etc.”.

I suspect almost no R’s feel that way. They just don’t believe bigger and bigger government and tax increases are the way to accomplish things. There really isn’t a connection to Christianity with that philosophy any more tangible than the other side.


An abortion won’t go back in time and make the crime of rape not happen. All it does is execute the unborn child for the crime of the father.

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