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Abortion: The Church's Teaching Essay

1223 words - 5 pages

Through the Church’s eyes, there is genocide in modern America that should be considered greater than the holocaust, and this genocide is known as abortion. Genocide is the systematic killing of a specific class of humans, and abortion is directed toward unborn babies. Abortion is best defined as the removal and killing of unborn children in the womb. From the Church’s perspective, human life is of great importance, especially since Jesus died for mankind. Therefore the Church believes that abortion is a wrongful act; however there are many people who believe that abortion is permissible and looks down upon the church, yet the Church remains strong.
In today's society, abortion has become a common practice, defended by deceptive arguments. The Church’s anti abortion viewpoint is mainly based off of the Lord’s Commandment “Thou shall not kill, nor do anything like unto it” (Bayley, Carol). The Catholic Church believes that human life is sacred from conception to natural death, and the taking of innocent human life, whether born or unborn, is morally wrong. The Church believes that only God is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end. The Church makes it clear that no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being (Sanders, Fr. William). However the real debate on abortion and the Church’s viewpoint is when a fetus becomes an actual human being with a soul.
“Tertullian (240 A.D.) was the first Christian to distinguish between a pre-formed and formed fetus. Also Cyril of Alexandria commented on the Septuagint text from Exodus, and he stated that the fetus does not belong to the human species until after forty days. In addition the Bishop of Cyrus, also following the Septuagint text, reasoned that God did not infuse the human soul until the body was formed. Accordingly, he taught that Moses had decreed that abortion of a formed fetus is homicide, but it is not homicide if the fetus is not formed” (DeMarco, Donald). Many followers of the Church believed these teachings, however St. Augustine argues that these readings were inaccurate and Mosaic Law did not want to treat the accidental abortion of an unformed fetus as homicide. Augustine describes that it is possible that an unformed fetus might be, human, even before it is fully formed or recognizably human (DeMarco, Donald).
Various other people followed Augustine in the argument that a fetus should not be murdered whether it is formed or not formed. St. Basil the Great stated “A woman who deliberately destroys a fetus is answerable for murder. And any fine distinction as to its being completely formed or unformed is not admissible among us”. Christians in the early ages, just as the Church does now, believed that Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and through her, Jesus Christ was born. The Church teaches that no Christian should ever deny that Jesus was a true person whose life was sacred from the moment of His conception...

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