18: Abortion


UNITED NATIONS DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS: The UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights [2] highlights this in Article 3: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and the security of person.” And in Article 6 it says, “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.”

THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE states, “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

The question of what is a human life? Comes into play then:

Many people will say “no one knows when human life begins” or “begins when there is a heart beat” or “begins when you can distinguish physically that it is human”, “life begins when the baby comes into the world” 

1. Scientific journals and texts and SCIENCE has defined life beginning at Conception, we will talk about that more

2. A heart beat can be detected at 6 weeks

  • Week 6: The neural tube closes
  • Embryo four weeks after conception 
  • Fetal development four weeks after conception
  • Growth is rapid this week. Just four weeks after conception, the neural tube along your baby's back is closing. The baby's brain and spinal cord will develop from the neural tube. The heart and other organs also are starting to form.
  • Structures necessary to the development of the eyes and ears develop. Small buds appear that will soon become arms. Your baby's body begins to take on a C-shaped curvature.

3. A baby begins to look human around 8-9 weeks

  • Week 9: Baby's toes appear
  • In the ninth week of pregnancy your baby's arms grow and elbows appear. Toes are visible and eyelids form. Your baby's head is large but still has a poorly formed chin.
  • By the end of this week, your baby might be a little less than 3/4 inch (16 to 18 millimeters) long from crown to rump — the diameter of a penny.
  • A human life, is not defined by how it looks, if a burn victim came into an ER and was not recognizable as “human” they wouldn’t stop treating them because it wasn’t a human

4. Life is not determined by location. We call a single cell of bacteria found in space life. A human in a house is the same human when they walk out of a house or a hospital or a place that people think that they should be.


So how do we define human life and can it be defined of when it begins:

"Human development begins after the union of male and female gametes or germ cells during a process known as fertilization (conception)."

"Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei (the haploid nuclei of the sperm and ovum) and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning, or primordium, of a human being." [Moore, Keith L. Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker Inc, 1988, p.2]

“The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception—fertilization. At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in order to grow and develop. The difference between the individual in its adult stage and in its zygotic stage is one of form, not nature. This statement focuses on the scientific evidence of when an individual human life begins.” -When Human Life Begins. American College of Pediatricians – March 2017

“An organism is defined as “(1) a complex structure of interdependent and subordinate elements whose relations and properties are largely determined by their function in the whole, and (2) an individual constituted to carry on the activities of life by means of organs separate in function but mutually dependent: a living being.” - Dr. Maureen L. Condic, a Berkeley-educated neurobiologist and professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine

“It is clear that from the time of cell fusion, the embryo consists of elements (from both maternal and paternal origin) which function interdependently in a coordinated manner to carry on the function of the development of the human organism.  From this definition, the single-celled embryo is not just a cell, but an organism, a living being, a human being.”- American College of Pediatricians – March 2017

A baby is not an organ that is causing harm that needs to be removed due to the inconvenience that it is going to cause the women. It is an “organism” that was created and placed where it is supposed to grow and develop over the next 9 months.

Location and age of a human does not negate their human rights

Medical Abortion: Abortion Pill (RU-486)

The abortion pill is given at the abortion clinic and blocks the pregnancy hormones that maintain the embryo (embryo is the early stage of a baby). It can only be used in very early pregnancy. It is recommended by the drug manufacturers that the patient make 3 visits to the clinic after taking the drug.  However, most abortion clinics combine visits and often, the woman has returned home when the cramping and bleeding begin with no medical supervision. Being alone (or at the least, without medical help), can put the woman in a frightening situation, leaving her with no one to ask if the amount of bleeding is normal or not. One in 100 women require surgery to stop the bleeding after taking the abortion pill.  As many as 8 out of 100 times, RU-486 does not end the pregnancy, leading the woman to require an additional procedure to end it.

Surgical Abortion: 

Aspiration is a surgical abortion procedure performed during the first 6 to 16 weeks gestation.

Dilation & Curettage (D&C): Dilation and curettage is a surgical abortion procedure performed after 16 weeks gestation. They insert something 24 hours prior to dilate. The they go in, give the baby a shot to ensure its death, then they scrape away, use forceps to take larger parts out and suction

Dilation and Extraction: The dilation and extraction procedure is used after 21 weeks gestation. The procedure is also known as D & X, Intact D & X, Intrauterine Cranial Decompression, and Partial Birth Abortion. Two days before the procedure, laminaria is inserted vaginally to dilate the cervix. Your water should break on the third day and you should return to the clinic. The fetus is rotated and forceps are used to grasp and pull the legs, shoulders, and arms through the birth canal. A small incision is made at the base of the skull to allow a suction catheter inside. The catheter removes the cerebral material until the skull collapses. The fetus is then completely removed. The availability of any procedure used in the third trimester is based on the laws of that state.

Physical effects: “In a series of 1,182 abortions which occurred under closely regulated hospital conditions, 27 percent of the patients acquired post-abortion infection lasting 3 days or longer.” Stallworthy, “Legal Abortion, A Critical Assessment of Its Risks”, The Lancet (December 4, 1971), pp. 1245-1249. 

While the immediate complications of abortion are usually treatable, these complications frequently lead to long-term reproductive damage of much more serious nature.

“Whether microscopic or macroscopic in nature, the cervical damage which results during abortion frequently results in a permanent weakening of the cervix. This weakening may result in an “incompetent cervix” which, unable to carry the weight of a later “wanted” pregnancy, opens prematurely, resulting in miscarriage or premature birth. According to one study, symptoms related to cervical incompetence were found among 75% of women who undergo forced dilation for abortion.”  Wren, “Cervical Incompetence—Aetiology and Management”, Medical Journal of Australia (December 29, 1973), vol. 60.

“A major study of first pregnancy abortions found that 48% of women experienced abortion-related complications in later pregnancies. Women in this group experienced 2.3 miscarriages for every one live birth. [20] Yet another researcher found that among teenagers who aborted their first pregnancies, 66% subsequently experienced miscarriages or premature birth of their second, “wanted” pregnancies.”  Russel, “Sexual Activity and Its Consequences in the Teenager”, Clinics in Ob&Gyn, (Dec. 1974). vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 683-698.


Psychological effects: 

1.     Relief, “get it over with”, temporary goes away quickly

2.     Then “numbness” 

3.     Studies within the first few weeks after the abortion have found that between 40 and 60 percent of women questioned report negative reactions. [4] [25] [26] Within 8 weeks after their abortions, 55% expressed guilt, 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor. [25]  Ashton, “The Psychosocial Outcome of Induced Abortion”, British Journal of Ob&Gyn. (1980), vol. 87, pp. 1115-1122.  Zimmerman, Passage Through Abortion, New York: Praeger Publishers, 1977.

4.     “The results revealed that at least one-third of the respondents have experienced psychological side effects. Depression, worrying about not being able to conceive again and abnormal eating behaviors were reported as dominant psychological consequences of abortion among the respondents. Decreased self-esteem, nightmare, guilt, and regret with 43.7%, 39.5%, 37.5%, and 33.3% prevalence rates have been placed in the lower status, respectively. Psychological Consequences of Abortion among the Post Abortion Care Seeking Women in Tehran Abolghasem Pourreza, PhD1 and Aziz Batebi, MDcorresponding author2

Why be Pro Life?: 60,236,165 AMERICAN LIVES LOST TO ABORTION SINCE 1973.*

"Instead of helping women in Roe v. Wade, I brought destruction to me and millions of women throughout the nation," Norma McCorvey (Roe)

“I saw filthy conditions in abortion clinics even when ‘Roe’ was supposed to clean up ‘back alley’ abortions. I saw the low regard for women from abortion doctors.”

McCorvey’s case went to the Supreme Court which issued the Roe decision, legalizing abortion in all 50 states. Since 1973 there have been over 50 million abortions in the U.S.

Yet as in the other abortion case Doe v. Bolton – decided the same day as Roe – neither plaintiff had an abortion, and both women eventually “had this radical conversion to the truth and dedicated their lives to really protecting the inherent dignity of the human person,” Mancini said.

If we make abortion illegal how will we care for women: 

  • We need to look at why women are getting abortions
  • Do they feel like they can’t support their child: Create a place for pregnant women to go and get the support that they need in order to have this child
  • Are they afraid that they wont get a promotion at work because they are pregnant? We need to look at how businesses are run
  • Are they afraid they wont be successful? What are we teaching women about their success
  • Abortion promotes the idea that humans are disposable 
  • Promotes that a women reproductive system needs to be fixed
  • Promotes that you do not need to be responsible for your action

St. Gianna Beretta Molla, pray for us!

“Our body is a cenacle, a monstrance: through its crystal the world should see God.” - St. Gianna Beretta Molla

“Love and sacrifice are closely linked, like the sun and the light. We cannot love without suffering and we cannot suffer without love.” - St. Gianna Beretta Molla

“Love your children. In them you can see baby Jesus. Pray for them a lot and every day put them under holy Mary’s protection.” - St. Gianna Beretta Molla

St. Charles Borromeo, pray for us!

See you in the Eucharist!


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Matt & Jenna are two Catholic best friends, youth ministers and worship leaders seeking to encourage, inspire & grow closer to Christ and His Church.