Getting back on topic, this is based on Canon Law. If I can re-state the OP’s question:
Given that if you have an abortion you are automatically excommunicated.However, if you deliver that baby live and then immediately kill it, you are not automatically excommunicated. Why?First, let’s settle on what we agree on: Both acts are grievous mortal sins. (I will not use “homicide” to avoid side discussions related to civil law and the status of the fetus).
To understand the reason why one is an automatic excommunication and the other is not, you have to understand what excommunication is. It is NOT a punishment for a wrong doing. It is “tough love” to force the sinner to acknowledge what they have done and to seek forgiveness and reconciliation with Christ through His Church. Excommunication does not throw one out of the Church. It bars one from the sacraments until they reconcile.
The taking of life is not always sinful. For example, it would not be a sin to take the life of someone who was trying to kill my family or to take the life of a combatant in a just war. So it would be problematic for the Church to throw a blanket excommunication writ on the taking of a human life.
Abortion, on the other hand, is by definition always the taking of an innocent soul and can never not be a sin. That being the case, there is no “grey area” that can be argued and formal automatic excommunication can be applied in all cases.
[FONT=Arial]Does that help any?[/FONT]
See also this thread: