Catholic Church Issues Condemnation of Abortion, In-Vitro Fertilization

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 6, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Church Issues Condemnation of Abortion, In-Vitro Fertilization Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 6, 2006

The Vatican ( — The Catholic Church on Tuesday issued a sweeping condemnation of abortion and in-vitro fertilization saying those practices and others are hurting families life never before. Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, the head of the Pontifical Council for the Family, released the new document.

The statement reaffirms the 1968 encyclical "Humanae Vitae," which initially stated the Catholic Church’s opposition to contraception.

Since then, couples "have been limiting themselves to one, or maximum two children," the document said, which has produced severe underpopulation problems in European, Asian, North American and other countries around the world.

"Never before in history has human procreation, and therefore the family, which is its natural place, been so threatened as in today’s culture," the 57-page document reads.

The document also condemned new reproductive technologies which threaten or destroy human life, such as in-vitro fertilization and the use of human embryos in research.

"The human being has the right to be generated, not produced, to come to life not in virtue of an artificial process but of a human act in the full sense of the term: the union between a man and a woman," the document said.

The statement, called "Family and Human Procreation," also reaffirmed the church’s long-standing views against abortion.

"Abortion and infanticide show the absence of efficient juridical protection for the conceived. Such practices in fact constitute a violation of the fundamental right to life which is the right of every human being from the moment of conception," it said.

The Vatican called abortion an "abominable crime" and said it was "inconceivable" that abortion practitioners in most nations are not punished for taking human life.

"No circumstance, no finality, no law can ever make licit an act that is intrinsically unlawful because it is contrary to God’s law, written in the heart of each man, recognizable by reason itself and proclaimed by the Church," it said.

"The causes are diverse but the ‘eclipse’ of God, creator of man, is at the root of the profound current crisis concerning the truth about man, about human procreation and the family," it concluded.