January 28, 2013
RE 202 Religious Ethics
Roman Catholic Views on Abortion
In the beginning, God created the world. He created the waters, the earth, the sky, the animals, and finally, He created man and woman to hold dominion over them all. Adam and Eve were created in the image of God, and had they not sinned, they would have continued to be able to see God and speak to Him without the need of an emissary. When they do eventually sin, God not only lays out commandments to clarify what is forgivable and what is not (the Ten Commandments), but also saves all humankind from that original sin through His son, Jesus of Nazarth. On a Biblical basis then, understanding that human beings are intrinsically special and created for a specific purpose, that the Ten Commandments specifically order human beings to not kill, and that Jesus himself in the Gospel of Matthew (and other Gospels) declares that the kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like little children, the tradition of Roman Catholicism takes the stance that abortion is never morally justified. Any woman who takes part in an abortion for any reason will be excommunicated from the church. However, that does not necessarily lead to a complete and total separation from the church for the rest of that individual's life. If they choose to seek absolution, they have a chance to be accepted back into the church. On the issue of the doctors who perform abortions, the church has no authorization over whether their medical licenses are revoked or not, though if the doctor is a practicing Roman Catholic, he or she would also need to seek absolution for the breaking of one of the Ten Commandments.
Some would argue that the church's stance is overtly harsh, and that it doesn't heed the fact that some women may need to have an abortion in order to stay medically stable, or that a child may have occurred due to rape. However, regarding the...