Defending the “sanctuary of life”

Curiously enough, God appeared in Bethlehem not only in a human body but in the body of a human, helpless child as if he wanted to show that “he opts out of the game of violence, wealth and conquests that seems to drive our human history […]”.

He becomes a child because he asks for our love. He does not ask us for anything else but love thanks to which we spontaneously learn to discern his wishes, his thoughts and his will. We learn how to live with him and together with him experience the humiliation of sacrifice which is all part and parcel of love” (homily by Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, Poznań Cathedral, December 25, 2013)

The events of the last several weeks in Poland make us painfully aware that this natural joy arising out of the miracle of new life and the sound assessment of reality may be manipulated and is frequently, due to many cultural and world-view factors, badly corrupted. The issue here is the concept of looking at a child as a problem, that is, abortion.

Back to basics

There are truths which must not be questioned:

  • Man was created in the image of God
  • The right to life is a fundamental right of every human being: healthy and sick, able-bodied and disabled, born and unborn. This nondenominational right is inscribed in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), Art. 3, “Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person,” and in the Constitution of the Republic of Poland (1997), Art. 38, “The Republic of Poland shall ensure the legal protection of the life of every human being.”
  • Modern science is absolutely positive that human life begins at the moment of conception.
  • Any attempt to take somebody’s life at any stage is simply homicide.
  • Since life begins at the moment of conception, until the moment of natural death it has infinite value and dignity. It is sacred because it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator who is the only Lord of life and death. A breach of this sanctity and an attempt to interrupt life is a mortal sin (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church no. 2258).

What is abortion then?

Abortion (Latin abortus or abortion) — inducing miscarriage — is an intended and premature termination of pregnancy by external intervention for the purpose of removing a fetus. In the light of the above truths, “procured abortion is the deliberate and direct killing, by whatever means it is carried out, of a human being in the initial phase of his or her existence, extending from conception to birth” (John Paul II, Evangelium vitae, 58).

A conceived person is a human being; there is no such moment in the fetus lifetime when nothing could change into something, when something which is not a person could transform into a man

Attempts to deny this obvious truth are common today. What we see is the frequent use of ambiguous terms (for instance, “procedure” or “extermination of pregnancy”) whose object is to conceal the real nature of the deed and lessen its gravity in the eyes of the public. This is an effect of a deep moral crisis and certain callous indifference which make this attack on life shed the name of crime and paradoxically achieve the status of “right” (cf EV 11). However, as the prophet Isaiah says: “Ah, you who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness” (Isa 5:20). Evil remains evil, and “among all the crimes which can be committed against life, procured abortion has characteristics making it particularly serious and deplorable. The one eliminated is a human being at the very beginning of life. No one more absolutely innocent could be imagined” (EV 58).

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