Never to Reject, Never to Kill
By Fr. Frank A. Pavone
We love them ..... the women who have had abortions. We love them. The Church cares
about them, forgives them, heals them, brings them peace with God, with their child, and
with themselves. The Church promises any woman who has had an abortion that if she comes
to us repenting of her sin, she will find welcome and forgiveness.
This, however, does not deny a basic fact: every abortion kills a child. Every abortion
ends a tiny, defenseless human life. Every abortion stops a beating heart. We don't do
ourselves any favors by denying the truth. It is, in fact, only when we recognize the
enormity of our sins that we can really appreciate how great God's mercy is!
Together with the fact that abortion is a mortal sin, it should also be understood that
an abortion brings an automatic excommunication upon those who procure it, perform it, or
cooperate in it. The purpose of the excommunication is not to reject anyone, but precisely
to HELP people understand how evil abortion is, and help them to turn away from it. We
would not respect a doctor who did not tell us the seriousness of our disease; nor should
we respect a Church that does not tell us the seriousness of our sin. But again, let us
bear in mind that God's mercy is ready to forgive our sin in the Sacrament of Confession,
and to reconcile us to the Church by removing the excommunication.
Many people know that abortion is wrong, but do not fully understand WHY. Many oppose
it for very shallow reasons, such as, "I don't like it," or "It isn't
nice." If we do not understand WHY it is wrong, we will begin to make exceptions in
certain cases, and will not remain strong in our position.
Abortion is wrong because it is the killing of an innocent child. The killing of the
innocent is NEVER justified. Our lives are so full of exceptions to rules that we find it
hard nowadays to understand the word "never." But to understand the teaching on
abortion, we must understand and ponder the word "NEVER." Killing an innocent
baby in the womb is NEVER OK. This means that it is wrong no matter what the circumstances
are. Even if we spent our whole life trying to think of situations where abortion might be
OK, we could never come up with one.
Most people are against abortion, but many people would make a few exceptions, such as
cases of rape. Let's consider this case just for a moment. We all agree that rape is a
terrible injustice to the woman, and that she deserves our concern and care. She deserves
the protection of society from this crime, and the assistance of society to find healing
if rape should happen. Very few rapes, however, result in pregnancy, and very few
abortions are for cases of rape. Far less than 1% of all the abortions done in this
country are for rape cases.
The fact is, however, that even in these cases abortion is wrong, because abortion
kills a baby. If abortion is wrong because it kills a baby, then the circumstances of HOW
the baby was conceived do not change the evil of abortion: the baby is still killed. And
that is why it may never be done. The abortion does not UNRAPE the woman. What it does is
DESTROYS her child. Don't just ask, "How did the child get there?" First ask,
"What is it?" Because it is a child, it may not be killed. Furthermore, it is an
innocent child. He/she committed no crime. Why should the child die for the crime of the
father? Rape is violence. Abortion is also violence. Abortion is in the same category as
rape. We say "no" to both.
Sometimes people say, "Why should the child live if he or she will suffer?"
This is a dangerous argument. First of all, it pretends to tell the future. Secondly,
wouldn't the same argument justify killing the child after birth? After all, if the
problem is future suffering (for the child or the mother), and you want to eliminate that
suffering by killing the child, why do you think it's better to kill the child while she's
in the womb than to kill her a day after birth? It's the same action, killing the same
person! A woman once wrote in favor of abortion because she saw poor children fighting
with seagulls on the beach for food. If she's willing to have them killed in the womb,
isn't it strange that she doesn't propose that they be killed right there on the beach?
It's the same deadly logic: eliminate human suffering by eliminating humans.
And it's the very fact that we are human that makes abortion a concern for all of us.
It is not just a concern for women. It is a concern for every human being. Never let
anyone tell you that you can't speak against abortion because you are a man. You may never
be pregnant, but you know that killing is wrong! You are a human being, and every human
being has the right to speak up for other human beings whose lives are in danger! Not
everyone is a woman, but everyone was an unborn child at one time! Not everyone knows what
it's like to be pregnant. But neither do we know what it's like for the unborn baby to be
torn in pieces by the abortionist's knife.
Brothers and sisters, let us be strong against abortion! Let us defend life, not some
of the time, but all the time! Let us oppose abortion not just in most cases but in ALL
cases! Let us be 100% pro-life, not only in our actions but also in what we say. It is
wrong not only to HAVE an abortion, but also to encourage or suggest it, or even to speak
a favorable word about it. Would you ever speak a favorable word about child abuse? Nor
should we speak favorably about the killing of unborn babies.
It may seem to us who are pro-life that the forces behind abortion are strong. Yes,
they are strong, but they are wrong. The truth shall prevail in the end. The pro-life
victory will be won, because Christ is risen, and He is more powerful that death, more
powerful than abortion! Let us go forth fearlessly, standing with and loving both the
children and their mothers, proclaiming and advancing the victory of life!