Abortion: Senior RE, Church Teachings





Covering the topic of abortion with your pupils? Feel as though you do not have the time to read through the Vatican documents to receive a full and true understanding as to what the Catholic Church teaches on abortion, yet do not trust information on websites such as Wiki? Fear NOT!!

I have personally read the Vatican documents and summarised the main points :).


Church Teaching on Abortion


  • The Roman Catholic Church has consistently condemned abortion — the direct and purposeful taking of the life of the unborn child.
  •  In principle, Catholics believe that all life is sacred from conception until natural death, and the taking of innocent human life, whether born or unborn, is morally wrong.
  • The Church teaches, “Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains forever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being” (“Donum vitae,” 5).


  • The Old Testament revelation, which the Church inherited and accepted, gives clear evidence that life in the womb was considered as sacred. Moses proclaimed, “Blessed be the fruit of your womb, the produce of your soil and the offspring of your livestock, the issue of your herds and the young of your flocks! Blessed be your grain bin and your kneading bowl! May you be blessed in your coming in and blessed in your going out!” (Dt 28:2-6).
  • Human life, God’s precious gift, is most vulnerable when it comes into the world and when it leaves the realm of time to embark upon eternity.


  • ‘You shall not kill’ is a specific command intended to protect the dignity and sanctity of human life; indeed, the whole of God’s law, his wise and loving plan for human existence, fully protects human life.


  • Catholic Church teaches the sanctity of human life
  • Life is good, life is a gift and entails responsibility
  • The Decalogue – forceful words uttered ‘Thou Shall not kill’
  • Human life is to be respected at all times and all stages of development
  • From the time of fertilization, there is new life.
  • Society has a duty to protect the right to life
  • Even if there is doubt whether a fetus is a person it is a grave sin to risk murder
  • Exodus 21:22-23 “When people who are fighting injure the pregnant woman and a miscarriage ensues, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine.”






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