Catholic Bioethics



We have studied the development of Church doctrine concerning abortion.  We will now consider in detail a comprehensive declaration on the subject by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, together with a review of pertinent embryology, reflections on the medical and psychological effects of abortion, and a consideration of the canonical and pastoral implications of the laetae sententiae excommunication due to abortion.  Finally we will note the shift in contemporary secular morality from the concept of abortion as “regrettable but necessary” to abortion as  a component of so-called “reproductive rights”.



6.1. Declaration on Procured Abortion

6.2. Embryology and Current Medicine

6.3. Ford on Long-Term Sequelae

6.4. Incurring the Excommunication

6.5. A Culture that Wishes to Portray Abortion as Heroic
6.5.1. Official Response to Legislators who contradict Church teaching
6.5.2. Phoenix and the aftermath - the Irish (Dublin) Declaration
Harris on Abortion as Conscientious


1. CDF Declaration on Abortion

2. Ford, ch. 5, The Pregnant Woman and her fetus (esp. 5.4., “Long-Term Sequelae of Abortion” and 5.6., Ethical Evaluation).

3. May, ch. 5, pp. 165-212.

3. Harris, “Conscience and Provision of Abortion” (NEJM)

This Webpage was created for a workshop held at Saint Andrew's Abbey, Valyermo, California in 2002....x....   “”.

Have already covered history of tradition [link to secions]

Salient historical-theological points reviewed in Vatican doc on abortion, ch. 7 and 1-13 [create links - perhaps sidebar on document?]