Abortion - Deliberate, intentional destruction of the human fetus at any stage after conception or the expulsion of it from the womb when it is not viable.
Morally, from the viewpoint of natural law ethics and from divine revelation, abortion is a fundamental evil. The right to life is the most basic of all human rights; the right to life of the innocent is inviolable. The destruction of innocent human life is contrary to the law of God and is, in the words of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, "an unspeakable crime, a crime which subordinates weaker members of the human community to the interest of the stronger: (To live in Christ Jesus: A Pastoral Reflection on the Moral Life, 64).
Legally, the right to life of the unborn has traditionally been fully protected by law. In 1973, however, the Supreme Court of the United States rendered a decision legalizing abortion, thus denying legal protection to the unborn.
It is the conviction of may U.S. citizens, including the majority of Catholics, that the Supreme Court's decision was morally and legally wrong and should be reversed.
Socially, this decision has brought about the formation of pro-life groups whose main purpose is to educate people on the basic issues at stake, to bring about a reversal of the Supreme Court decision and so to insure legal protection for the unborn, and to address the specific needs of women with problems related to pregnancy so that they will have alternatives to abortion.
According to cannon law, a Catholic who actually procures an abortion incurs automatic excommunication (Canon 1398); accomplices (that is, those without whose assistance the abortion would not have been committed) also incur excommunication. (CCC 2269-2274, 2322)