Wednesday, July 17, 2002

No abortions, ever

Over at Christian Forums there are a couple of threads (one of which has been closed due to the arguments that erupted over the issue) which talk about abortion. Sounds cut and dried, but the example presented to the Christians (by an atheist) was of "Your nine year old has been raped and is now pregnant, do you consider an abortion?"

A great many people said that yes they would get their daughter an abortion. A handful of those speaking in such an affirmative call themselves Catholics.

This makes me so sick that I could almost vomit, and if I had just eaten lunch I might have.

For those of you who might say "What's the big deal?" allow me to quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church for a second to show you why it is a big deal.

2271 Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:

You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish.

God, the Lord of life, has entrusted to men the noble mission of safeguarding life, and men must carry it out in a manner worthy of themselves. Life must be protected with the utmost care from the moment of conception: abortion and infanticide are abominable crimes.

The Church is unswerving on it's insistence that every abortion is wrong, no matter the circumstances.  There are no "What if?" instances as it pertains to abortion, there are no "special qualifiers".  Willful abortion is a grave sin.  How grave?

2272 Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. "A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae", "by the very commission of the offense," and subject to the conditions provided by Canon Law. The Church does not thereby intend to restrict the scope of mercy. Rather, she makes clear the gravity of the crime committed, the irreparable harm done to the innocent who is put to death, as well as to the parents and the whole of society.

So grave that formal cooperation in an abortion is the only documented case within the Catechism that automatically warrants excommunication.  There is nothing else that a Catholic could do that the Church, within the pages of the Catechism, would say automatically results in excommunication.  Abortion is the only instance.  I think that speaks volumes as it pertains to the gravity with which the Church views abortions.

I've seen all sorts of excuses to justify abortion in this case. One argued that since it was a nine year old, the chances of a premature birth were enhanced, and prematurity could result in disability and that that would be unfair to the child. Another said that it would be child abuse to force a nine year old to go through with a pregnancy after rape. Yet another said I was cold, calculating, devoid of love and an abomination to Christianity for thinking it was wrong to abort the unborn child. Another said they'd take their child to the abortion clinic so fast that my head would spin. One *ahem* Catholic said I was haughty and since I did not have children of my own that I couldn't make such an unequivocal condemnation of abortion. I wonder if that is how she responds to her priest on this issue.

It's certainly nice to know that Christian charity, love and mercy are alive and well.

Now, the thread is not all doom and gloom. By close to a 7 to 1 margin, people said they would not get an abortion for their child. In these instances, I assume they would do everything possible for their child (and their family) to help them get over the stress of the rape, they would get the best medical help they could to help their child with the pregnancy and take it as close to full-term as possible to ensure that the unborn child has the best chance of survival. From there, they would leave it in God's more than capable hands.

One poster presented the following Psalm to the discussion:

Psalm 139

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

She went on to say the following:
The Bible is clear that if conception takes place, it is God's will.  We cannot become God ourselves and decide to take that life to spare another.

Are you all forgetting about Abraham?  I am sure it was terribly difficult for him to bring his son to the altar and be fully prepared to kill him, but he did it out of obedience to God.   It's called Faith.

I pray that my family is never put in such a horrendous situation, but it has been my strong conviction since the day this thread was first started to remain steadfast in His will and also in prayer for my family's safety and well-being and for the safety of all children.

I pray that God would give me the faith of Abraham if, Heaven forbid, I ever had to make such a horrible decision.

The faith of Abraham. Amen and amen.

Dear Heavenly Father, may we see the wisdom of Your commands and may we see the beauty in all of Your creations. Your word says that children are a gift from You to us. Please help us to respect that gift all the time, no matter what the circumstances may be. Help us to have a faith comparable to the faith of Abraham. We ask this in the name of Your Son and our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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