USE of IUD and degree of culpability


I understand that life begins at conception, and that the newly fertilized cell is indeed a human being, lacking only nutrition, time, and protection in the uterus before birth.

I understand that the IUD is abortive because it works by causing a low grade irritation in the uterus so that the fertilized (and thus human) egg can not implant in the uterus, and is sloughed off and dies.

My question is this: Is it as bad of a sin (because the egg is at cellular level and can not feel pain yet) as a later abortion when the fetus (unborn baby is larger and can feel pain)? Because it is an abortion either way, is the degree of sin the same?

Does it matter how long the IUD was in use, the longer in use the more fertilized eggs were likely to have been aborted in this way. Does a larger amount of eggs lost equal a greater sin?

How sinful is the IUD compared to a later abortion?

I appreciate any input you can give.


Beverly Jean


If you murder someone, would it be a lesser sin if the victim felt no pain?

Think about it.


I would think that in God’s eyes, the degree of sin is the same – murder is murder. :frowning:

Yes. The more lives ended, the more sins committed.

Since we believe that life begins at conception, using an IUD and having an abortion later in development are the same – the killing of a human life.

The only “wiggle-room” I guess I see here is that it is possible that one could use an IUD and not get pregnant, thus no loss of life occurring. However, since the intention of the IUD is to end pregnancy should it occur, I don’t see how it can be morally justified.

Hope that helps…


The use of the IUD is still not allowing God’s Will and killing His creation, so from my vantage-point there is no difference in sin (I am certainly not the Magisterium tho’ so may be wrong!). Here’s is a link to what has been taught by the Magisterium and the Church Fathers

Culpability would be determined, if I’m not wrong, by how much you really knew and were able to understand about the sin in question.

Since even Onan was struck down for using the withdrawal method of contraception, and that’s even earlier than the IUD works, I would say :nope: :nope:


Say, on the TV you watch a mystery involving smothering someone who is in a coma. Would the perpetrator be guilty of murder?


Yes they would be guilty of murder. (Not sure where you’re going with this…)


Maybe I didn’t understand…wasn’t your question about whether the murder of someone who can’t feel pain is a sin - the sin of murder?


I don’t know the answer to that. I’d consult with a bonafide moral theologian on that.

I would guess that the culpability of using an IUD would be equivalent to the Morning After pill.

I’ve known that the IUD is abortifacient since I was in high school. I thought everyone knew that.


Say, on the TV you watch a mystery involving smothering someone who is in a coma. Would the perpetrator be guilty of murder?

Yes. A person in a coma can possibly come out of it to full consciousness and life.


Nope. Not everyone. As a new Catholic, that was big news to me. I was under the impression (based on information which I received from an OB-GYN) that IUDs were similar in their action to the pill, but without hormones. My understanding had been that the copper in the IUD changes the chemical balance of the uterus so as to prevent conception. I didn’t know that it was an abortifacient until just recently.


Muder of an adult, murder of an infant, abortion, and contraception are all grave sins. If one is culpable to a mortal degree of any of them and obstinately remains impenitent until death, any one of then will lead to eternal damnation. Yes, it is true that the torments of Hell will be greater or less depending on the number and gravity of the sins, but at that point, what does it matter?

I am not sure which is worse of the above–I would imagine the actual taking of life is worse than the prevention of it.


Here’s a question:

Would the use of an IUD have the same effect on the person’s standing with the Church as an abortion would?

As abortions lead to excommunication - would the use of an IUD do the same (if you had full knowledge on how the IUD worked)?


Which would have raised red flags for folks who know that conception occurs in the fallopian tubes, not in the uterus. But doctors are not quite accurate when explaining these things, people feel that doctors are professionals they can trust (and indeed many are) so they just go along with what they are told and do not question or inform themselves independently of the doctor’s comments.

It is indeed sad that women are not properly informed by medical professionals, and therefore CAN’T make informed decisions about their care in such cases based only on what they are told. We must be responsible for our decisions by educating ourselves, but many women do not have the means or ability to do so, for whatever reason. :frowning:



It is not one’s “standing with the Church” that is the concern, it is one’s standing with God that should be considered.

Yes - if someone had full understanding and knowledge of how an IUD works, then I would equate the use of that device as the same as having a built in abortionist living in your body, and you would be responsible for that decision.



BUT - you will never know if you have or have not conceived a child that was aborted.

Doesn’t that make a difference?


My understanding (thus far in my studies), is that the answer is yes… provided that the sinner remains impenitent of the sin.

It is my understanding that while abortion in all its forms is an excommunicable offense… if the sinner repents honestly (of which God Himself can be the only judge) then she is welcomed back into the church. It is only with deliberate and unrepentant intent to commit the sin of murder that one is wholly excommunicated.

As for unintentional abortion, such as in the case of emergency surgeries to save a woman’s life which results in removal of a viable fetus from a fallopian tube for example, there are exceptions to the gravity of the sin.

Being new to all this however, I wonder if there is an expert following this thread who can confirm or correct that? And if there is someone who can answer that, maybe they can answer this question: If someone did not know how an IUD worked, but when they found out, abstained until it was removed… is this a sin akin to unintentional abortion and therefore a lesser (and not ex-communicable) sin?


You are equally culpable as you intended to kill if someone is conceived. The intention in knowingly using something that kills makes a person guilty.


Well…super…looks like I was excommunicated :frowning:


Hey, but did you know it caused abortions? If you didn’t then you wouldn’t be excommunicated


Please call now to make an appointment to speak with your priest. He is the one you need to be speaking with you feel this is the case, not a bunch of people on the internet.


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