The "Sacrament" of Abortion
Fr. Frank Pavone
Priests for Life
(Click here for the
The Sacrament of Abortion is the title of a book written by
Ginette Paris and published in 1992. In this short book, the author claims that
abortion is a sacred act, a sacrifice to Artemis (known to the Romans as Diana).
Artemis is both a protector of wild animals and a hunter who kills them with
deadly aim. How can these contradictory roles be found in the same female deity?
The view proposed in this book is that a mother properly cares for life only if
she possesses full power over life and death. Death is sometimes preferable. The
one who can provide death, in order that one may escape an unfriendly life, is
really loving the one who is being killed.
Abortion, then, is seen as "an expression of maternal responsibility and not
a failure of maternal love" (p.8). "Artemis stands for the refusal to give life
if the gift is not pure and untainted….As Artemis might kill a wounded animal
rather than allow it to limp along miserably, so a mother wishes to spare the
child a painful destiny" (p. 55).
Artemis, of course, is the same goddess whose worshippers felt so threatened
by Paul s proclamation of the Gospel in Ephesus, where a riot nearly broke out
and a vast crowd shouted for two hours, "Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!"
(Acts 19:34). The worshippers of Artemis today should likewise feel that their
beliefs are threatened, because the proclamation of the Gospel of Christ is that
He alone has authority over life and death. Neither the mother, nor the father,
nor the state, nor the individual herself, can claim absolute dominion over
life. "Nobody lives as his own master, and nobody dies as his own master. While
we live, we are responsible to the Lord, and when we die, we die as His
servants. Both in life and death, we are the Lord s" (Rom. 14:7-8).
The fact that some defend abortion as a sacred act should alert us to the
depth of the spiritual warfare that is going on. Abortion has never been merely
or even primarily a political issue. It is a false religion. When
pro-life Christians, for example, pray in front of an abortion mill, it is not
simply a matter of pro-life people opposing false medicine. It is the true
Church in conflict with a false Church. One former clinic security
guard, after being converted, admitted why he was angry at pro-life sidewalk
counselors: "You were coming to protest in front of our church. That
clinic was where we conducted our worship."
May all believers, and their clergy, take renewed strength to speak out
against abortion. Not only is doing so consistent with the proclamation of the
Gospel; it is the proclamation of the Gospel.