Abortion is an issue of grave concern to Catholics because it concerns issues of human dignity. As Catholics, we believe that human dignity is rooted in God. Our dignity comes from the very fact that we were created by God in the image and likeness of God and because of this, all people are equal in dignity. The Catholic Church is against abortion because it infringes upon our God-given dignity.
God is the only Author of Life
God is the author of all life and has given us the ability to co-create with him. What God has not given us is the authority to kill other people. “You shall not kill” is the Fifth Commandment.
“Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever 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.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2258
Nothing Less than Human
Abortion is a gravely immoral act because it is murder. An embryo inside its mother’s womb is nothing less than human; science proves this with DNA as the evidence. The termination of a pregnancy is not merely the elimination of a cluster of cells. It is the destruction of a human life form in its earliest stages.
“Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity, cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 2274
Human life, and therefore the dignity afforded to it, begins at the moment of conception, when the egg and sperm join to create a human being.
“From the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes.”
Gaudium et Spes 51 § 3
A Child’s Dignity
If life does not begin at conception, then at what point do we consider life to begin? Is it the point at which the baby becomes sentient? Is it the point at which it could survive on its own? That is laughable because no human could survive on its own. Children could not survive without additional care until several years after they are born; they are very dependent upon a caretaker just as an unborn child is dependent upon its mother. Should an unborn child have any less dignity than one who has been born?
An abortion is murder of the worst kind. Abortion is the murder of a vulnerable and innocent human life which infringes upon our God-given dignity.