Essay: Christianity and Abortion

 

The concept of abortion in Christianity has a long and multifaceted narration as there is no specific exclusion of abortion in either the Old Testament or New Testament books in Christian Bible. According to Genesis 2:7  Jewish law is commonly interpreted as that an unborn child has the status of “potential human life” until most  of the body have emerged from the mother and that life begins at birth with breath through the nostrils.  Based upon this on some writers say that early Christians followed different beliefs at different times about abortion, some are of the view they condemned abortion at any point of pregnancy as a grave sin.

There are different versions about abortion depending upon which sect of Christianity one follows. The Catholic Church contends that “human life must be cherished and safeguarded absolutely from the moment that it is conceived in the mother’s womb. This view has been maintained even when some of them did not qualify as homicide regarding the elimination of a fetus not yet formed” and active with a human soul. Therefore, it condemns actions whose intent is to destroy an embryo or fetus for whatever reason but admits acts, such as chemotherapy or hysterectomy of a pregnant woman who has cervical cancer, which indirectly result in the death of the fetus.

 The Catholic Church firmly states that the first right of the human person is his/her life and that life, in essence, begins at fertilization. Therefore, Canon 1398 stipulates that a person who undergoes  is automatically excommunicated  from the Church, which can only be removed when that individual seeks penance and obtains forgiveness Since the first century, the Church has vowed that every abortion constitutes  a moral evil, a teaching that the principles of the Catholic Church declares has not changed and will never change. Besides authenticating its Canon law for automatic excommunication for an abortion, is not applicable to women who abort because of a threat to the life of a mother if her pregnancy continues the Catholic Church assures the possibility of forgiveness for women who have had an abortion without any such attenuation.

 Pope John Paul II had special words of sympathy and compassion for women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, there is no doubt that in many cases it was a painful and heartbreaking decision. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.


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