In response to Jack Schanberger’s doctrine question (CR, July 15), the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, “Direct abortion, that is, abortion that is willed as an end or a means, is a ‘criminal’ practice, gravely contrary to moral law” (CCC 2271). We are to protect the life of every human being as far as possible, but that does not mean that we willfully abort a fetus, a separate human being, as a means to protect the mother’s life.
A friend of mine had a sister, diagnosed with breast cancer, who was advised to abort the baby she was carrying, in order to save her life. She eventually lost her life to the cancer, but her husband raised their daughter, who is now 30 years old. If he and his wife had chosen abortion, he would’ve lost both a wife and a daughter.