For the past month, the news media was criticizing the Church for excommunicating Sister Margaret McBride for agreeing to allow an abortion to be performed in the hospital where she was on the bioethics board. One thing that is important to know is that the bishop did not excommunicate her. According to Canon Law anyone who has a role in allowing or performing an abortion is automatically excommunicated, not matter what the circumstances.
The reason the board gave was that the abortion was necessary to save the life of the mother. One might ask, ‘’Was there any other way to save the life of the mother?” No matter how an abortion is performed, it directly killing the unborn baby. No matter how one looks at that, if we are honest it is barbaric. However, if Sister Margaret McBride and the board had a situation where the fetus could be viable and they tried to save the the baby, by removing it, it could be looked upon as a procedure that had a double effect. If medical advancement has reached the point where there is a possibility that the baby could survive being removed from the mother’s womb, that would be an entirely different situation, even if the baby did not survive, there was a least the possibility that it could survive with the proper care. The Church seems to be much more open to the possibility and permissibility of such a procedure as it does not attack the baby directly, and there is a reasonable chance the baby could survive.
Since abortion is the direct taking of a human life, even the Church cannot go against the divine law and give a dispensation from divine law, so it is not the Church that is being cruel and rigid. Only God can dispense from his own law forbidding the taking of a human life.
And when it comes to the Church’s censure of excommunication for anyone involved in an abortion, the penalty is reasonable as abortion is such a common practice that it can destroy the society and the civilization itself, as is becoming very obvious in Europe and even in our own country, where immigration is a necessity to make up for the critical shortage of labor. Even in Ireland and England, as in other European countries where the birthrate is so low that the native population is not able to keep pace with the needs of industry for labor. With full employment as we had in the United States in 2008 where the unemployment rate was only 4.5%, and all employable Americans were working, there were 35,000,000 Mexicans working in our country, which means that we were that many short of American workers. So, abortion is not just a violation of God’s law, but it also affects subtly, and not so subtly sometimes, the psychological and emotional health of the mother. Besides this, abortion has drastic effects on the future of society and possibly, if not contained, on the civilization itself.