The Roman Catholic Church teaches that human life is sacred - Explain how this teaching influences its attitude towards abortion

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‘‘The Roman Catholic Church teaches that human life is sacred’’ Explain how this teaching influences its attitude towards abortion

The R.C Church teaches that all human life is sacred. The word sacred means devoted or help especially acceptable to a deity. Both the old and new testaments teach that human life is sacred and should not be terminated. God created life in his image and each one of us is like him. To kill a human being is like killing a part of god and this has greatly influenced the teachings of the R.C Church about abortion.

           Human life must not be violated and in abortion we are doing exactly that. The scriptures tell us that ‘‘who ever sheds the blood of a man, by man shall blood be shed; for god made man in his own image’’ Genesis 9: 6-7. In the book of Luke we are told ‘‘are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten by God’’ Luke 12: 6. The ultimate teaching is found in the fifth commandment ‘’thy shall not kill’’ thus providing that in god eyes human life is precious.

           This notion of sacredness epitomises the churches teaching that abortion is immoral. Catholics believe that all life is sacred and see the unborn baby as a human being from the moment of conception and a gift from God. Abortion should not be used as a type of birth control since it is ultimately murder.

           The word ‘abortion’ means the death of the baby in the womb and its expulsion from the mother’s body. The UN declaration on the rights of the child (1959) ‘‘states the child by reason of his/her physical and mental immaturity needs special safe guards and care including appropriate legal protection’’ before as well as after the birth. Traditional Christian teachings places the highest value of human life and therefore condemns abortion one of the earliest Christian writings outside the New Testament – the Didache states ‘‘you shall not kill by abortion, the fruit of the womb and you shall not murder the infant already born’’

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           Pius VI said that ‘‘ensoulment occurs before conception so abortion is a mortal sin’’. This is enhanced by the bible which states life begins at birth

           The R.C Church states in the declaration on procured abortion 1974 that respect for human life is not just the Christian duty ‘‘respect for life is integral to the stability of the human race’’. The church teaches ‘‘… never under any excuse may abortion be resorted to either by family or by the political authority as means of regulating birth’’


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