Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Abortion in Tough Situations

Q - What do you think of a young girl who is forced to get an abortion because she is raped, the pregnancy is dangerous, and her parents make her get one? Rather, how does the Church regard this? I am not sure what to think about it.

A - Thanks for the question. First let me tell you what the Church does not teach. The Church does not teach that the girl is at fault in any way, shape or form. The Church does not teach that the babies are any less valuable than their mother. The Church does not teach that the father should not be punished - in fact, the Church teaches that it is an act of justice to punish him in jail.

What the Church does teach is that regardless of the situation surrounding conception, we all have the inalienable right to live our lives without others killing us. None of us gets to choose to come into being. Neither do these children. Is it risky for the mother to keep them? Yes. Will she have deep wounds that will need a lifetime to heal from? Yes. But, there is no reason to kill. None. In fact, she will have even more regret and pain if she decides to kill her babies.

No baby deserves to be killed no matter the circumstances surrounding how the life came to be. Think of Mary, who was young and unmarried. In today's society she would be told that keeping the baby would ruin her life.

I can also guarantee that God loves the children much more than any of us ever could. They have a purpose to their lives, just like you and I do and it is possible to support both baby and mother.
"All human beings, from their mother’s womb, belong to God who searches them and knows them, who forms them and knits them together with his own hands, who gazes on them when they are tiny shapeless embryos and already sees in them the adults of tomorrow..."
-(Pope John Paul II - The Gospel of Life, 61).
The situation in life, the pain that others feel, the evil that is perpetrated on someone, the situation surrounding conception, and any other reason does not negate our inviolable dignity. We cannot kill the innocent.

I hope this helps.


dave said...

Marcel, can you give me your take on the 9 year old in Brazil, with the excommunications. I have read alot of uproar about the churches handling on this situation. I agree with the Church, but do not understand why the PR has been quieted.

Marcel said...

The Church is horrible at PR, marketing, and communications. It really needs an overhaul in that area.

But, regardless, the Church is right in excommunicating anyone who procures an abortion. But, we must remember what excommunication is for - it is a medicinal penalty that is given in order to speed repentance.

OwlStew said...

Question on excommuncation. You mention it is medicinal, a way to speed repentance. If excommuncated, how do you get welcomed back to the Church? To over simplify, if you repent and obtain reconcilation do you then qualify for possibility of excomm being lifted? I guess I am having a hard time understanding excommunication. Certain sins are mortal but do not result in excommunication. But other personal sins result in excommunication. What's the fundamental difference? Heresay for example versus murder?

OwlStew said...

I am having a hard time understanding excommunication. If as you say, it is medicinal and speeds towards repentance then how do you get the excomm lifted? If you repent and seek reconcilliation with a priest, do you quality for excomm to be lifted? I guess I don't understand how some personal sins result in excomm and others do not. Heresay versus murder for example. Some sins are mortal and can be dealt with through reconciliation. But other results in immediate excommunication. Rape versus arbotion is the example in the Brazil case. But if God forbid someone shoots and kills someone on the street, thus is mortal but not necessarily excommunicable? Maybe I have this wrong. Can you help clarify?

Marcel said...

OwlStew - some excommunications can be lifted by going to confession with a priest, some can only be lifted by a bishop. It depends on the gravity of the sin and canon law.

The determination of excommunication can either be automatic (as with the case of abortion) and the person automatically brings it upon themselves. It can also be handed out by a bishop for acts that are the most public and egregious.