Monday, January 22, 2007

Abortion and the Catholic Church

As most people know, the Catholic Church is firmly against abortion. In fact, the Catholic Church is against killing any person, from the moment of conception to natural death. This includes abortion, mercy killing or euthanasia, suicide, murder, etc. In this short essay, I will discuss some of the major Catholic teachings surrounding these areas, and my personal feelings on the subject.

According to Catholic teaching, life begins at conception, the moment the sperm and egg join to form a single cell. At this point, the person receives a soul. It makes sense to say life begins at conception, because after that point the person does not come into existence, but rather grows and develops. However, he remains the same person. To say life doesn't being at conception, causes a contradiction for the entire definition of life. A person will start developing as a zygote, and continue to grow and develop until they reach full maturity. The points along the way are different stages of this development. A child is not fully developed at 3 months of age. They are still very dependent on their mother for nourishment and support. Yet no one would say these children are not alive, of course they are. Therefore, aborting a baby is killing a living being.

Abortion is also wrong because it takes away a person's right to have a life. Even if you do not believe that abortion is killing a living being, you cannot deny the fact that aborting a baby will remove its potential to live. You are removing its right to life. As an analogy for this, consider going to university and paying a large tuition fee. You are completing a 4-year program in order to become a nurse, which has been a life-long dream for you. However, 2 years into your program, a professor decides he doesn't like teaching anymore. You think this is no big deal, but then for some reason you get a letter stating that you are no longer allowed to continue your program and you've been kicked out of the university. You are assured that it had nothing to do with any of your actions and that your grades were fine. Panicked, you look around for another university that will help you complete your courses, but none will take you, and soon you learn no university will ever accept you. In fact, you learn, you will no longer be allowed to read any books. Even though nothing was taken away from you, you have lost the potential to earn a degree, and it was not due to anything you did. This example shows a great injustice. However, think about how much more unjust it is if it involves a life!

These are just two reasons to consider for being pro-life. Read the surveys on your own. They always show a huge proportion of women who have abortions not because of rape or incest, but because it wasn't "right" for them at the time. However, people fail to remember that you are placing your "convenience" above someone else's life. If you were walking down the road, to get to the store to buy candy, and on your way you noticed a man trapped beneath his car, would you say to yourself, I "would" rescue him, but it's not the right time in my life right now, I need to get some candy. No matter how embarrassing or inconvenient having a baby may be, it is not worth a life. Plus, there are many other options available, which do not consist of destroying a life.

I hope these few examples help you realize how important life is, and that our mission as Catholics, Christians, and indeed people of this Earth, is to help everyone have the right to life!

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