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The Politics of Abortion in the Church


1. I read somewhere that Louisiana *does* have an anti-abortion law already, just not as broad as the one just proposed. And I think the existing law does not make the mother criminally liable.

2. An abolition statute needs to be written carefully. If the statute just says "A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus counts just like a born person in criminal law," then it may be that leniency for the mother or birth control pharmacist is disallowed, because typically first-degree murder (premeditated homicide) has a minimum sentence-- perhaps 5 years in prison. So it would be better to create a special statute for abortion allowing judges more discretion, from probation to a month in jail to the death penalty, depending on circumstances.


I should write on this. Finnis is on a good track, but after skimming, I think he's missing a lot.

The essential question is whether a state law permitting a father to kill his six-year-old would violate the U.S. or state constitutions. If not, then surely he could kill his unborn baby. If so, maybe not. And it is not clear at all that the U.S. Constitution

This kind of thing very likely came up before 1865 with slavery. Could a master kill his slave? In general that was murder, I recall, but was that true at every time in every state? What about in the absence of statutes?

Section 1 of the 14th Amendment says

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.

No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;

nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;

nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

I don't see that that requires a state even to have a law against killing adults, much less against parents killing their children. It just says the state government may not kill people.

What the Bible and Tradition Say

The Bible

*"Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man." Genesis 9:6. 
  • "As thou knowest not what is the way of the spirit, nor how the bones do grow in the womb of her that is with child: even so thou knowest not the works of God who maketh all." Ecclesiastes 11:5.
  • Exodus 21:22


  • Quickening.

Man Made in the Image of God

  • Mayo Clinic has good pictures of each week of development. The embryo does not look human until week 8. The heart starts forming in week 6. Blood cells start being created in the liver in week 11.

Trading in Body Parts