Essay by Princess711University, Master'sA, November 2008

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Devout Roman Catholics, because of their faith, define abortion under any circumstances as a sin, primarily because all forms of abortion are equated with the taking of a human life. From the perspective of Catholics and other religious groups, abortion is no more than the murder of an unborn human being. Roe v. Wade and other legislation sanctioning legal abortion is both a legal and a moral failure to Catholics. Other than the explicit "Thou shalt not kill" Commandment, the Bible remains silent on the issue of abortion. However, in the Didashe, a book of rules that many consider to be the teachings of the Apostles, it is proclaimed, "you shall not kill by abortion the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born" (Pope, 1974, p. 1). The opposition to abortion in any form at any time during pregnancy from conception onward derives from sacred Scripture and tradition, with regard to the "inviolability of innocent human life" (Pope, 1991, p.

1). Any form of abortion during any time of pregnancy is, therefore, viewed as sin and tantamount to murder. In defining the fetus as a person from conception forward, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (2270) is viewed as a total prohibition on abortion, "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person-among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life" (Abortion, 2008, p. 1). This analysis will provide an overview of Catholic moral teaching on abortion. A conclusion will provide an objective assessment summarizing these views.

The Catholic Church views abortion from the moment of conception forward as a violation of Divine and moral law. The...