In this lesson we discuss the Catholic view of abortion using Scripture, science, morality, and Catholic teachings throughout the centuries as our basis. This course was written by Maria Vitale Gallagher, legislative director for the Pennsylvania Pro-Life Federation. Note: No graphic images are used.Preview This Lesson
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The legal history of abortion in the U.S. shows the power of the Supreme Court. Abortion did not become legal as a result of an act of Congress; instead, it resulted from a 1973 Supreme Court ruling called Roe v. Wade. The majority opinion stated, “We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins…the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.”
However, medical science has clearly shown the humanity of the unborn child. Through such techniques as 4-D Ultrasound, mothers and fathers can now see their baby crying, laughing, and playing inside the womb. But this technology was not around in 1973 when the Supreme Court made its decision.
A dissenting justice referred to Roe v. Wade as “an exercise in raw judicial power.” This was because it had sweeping effects, nullifying the laws of democratically-elected legislatures throughout the U.S. Roe v. Wade and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton, set the parameters for abortion law in America.
Under the rulings, it was illegal to ban abortion prior to viability, or the point at which a baby could live outside the womb. Once the child reached viability, states could outlaw abortion under Roe, unless, in the judgment of a doctor, the abortion was necessary “for the preservation of the life or health of the mother.” Meanwhile, in Doe, the high court said, “Whether an abortion is necessary is a professional judgment” which depends upon factors such as “physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age—relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.” This created what pro-lifers refer to as a giant loophole, enabling an abortionist to perform an abortion for virtually any reason throughout pregnancy.
Pro-life advocates insist that the Supreme Court misinterpreted the Constitution in Roe and Doe. The Constitution clearly states, “No person shall…be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law…nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law; nor deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”... Please purchase this lesson to continue learning.
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