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General Information About Abortion
What is abortion?
According to the Dictionary: abortion is “the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy.” There are various methods that are utilized to terminate a pregnancy which fall into two categories: Medical & Surgical Abortion.
We are living in a time of genocide. 1 in 4 women in the United States has had an abortion (Gallup). Abortion hurts each one of us. We pray to an end to the horror of abortion in our world as medical science and human reason confirm what we know by faith to be true. Here, we provide hope and resources for all those affected by abortion as well as information on abortion and alternative pregnancy options.
Types of Abortion
Medical Abortion: Also referred to as Chemical Abortion
Medical Abortion (RU-486): The prescribing of RU-486 involves a series of two pills Mifepristone & Misoprostol that are taken 48 hours apart. Mifepristone is a progestrone-blocking agent that causes death of the fetus due to a lack of the essential hormone that promotes development. Misoprostol is then used to begin contractions in order to expel the contents of the uterus. Medical Abortions are becoming quite commonplace within the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Watch the video on the left to hear Dr. George Delgado, founder of Abortion Pill Rescue, explain the way these two drugs work.
Surgical Abortion: Different types of Surgical Abortion that take place at varying times during pregnancy.
First Trimester- Dilation & Curettage: D & C or Suction Aspiration Abortion is the most typical type of abortion and is performed between 5 and 13 weeks of gestation. During this procedure, a woman’s cervix is opened with a series of metal dilators. Then, a suction catheter is inserted into the uterus and the fetus and contents of the uterus are removed. To see and hear a more detailed explanation of this procedure, watch the video on the right.
THIS VIDEO MAY BE DISTURBING TO SOME.
Second Trimester- Dilation & Evacuation: D & E Abortion is considered a late-term abortion and is performed from 13 to 24 weeks of gestation. During this procedure, a woman’s cervix is softened with the use of laminaria for 24 hours prior. After the cervix has been softened, metal dilators are used and a suction catheter is inserted to remove the amniotic fluid. Because of the development of the fetus, a sopher clamp must be used to extract the fetus in pieces. To see and hear a more detailed explanation of this procedure, watch the video on the right.
Third Trimester- Induction Abortion: Induction Abortion is an extremely late-term abortion and is performed from 25 weeks of pregnancy to 40 weeks (full term). At this point, the fetus is considered viable outside of the womb. During this 3 – 4 day procedure, the baby is injected with Digoxin which causes the baby to go into cardiac arrest. After a final ultrasound to determine that there is no heartbeat, labor is induced. To see and hear a more detailed explanation of this procedure, watch the video on the right.
Undergoing an abortion is a major, medical procedure. Both chemical and surgical abortions carry risks of mental and physical health problems. Below are the more common side effects experienced by women. Remember, an abortion is a pregnancy loss. Women who have had an abortion may mentally and physically feel the same as women who have suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth.
– Nausea & Vomiting
– Retained Tissue and Fetal Remains Necessitating a D & C
– Uterine Blood Clots
– Excessive Bleeding & Hemorrhaging
– Allergic Reaction
– Feelings of Regret, Anger, Guilt, Shame
– Sense of Loneliness or Isolation
– Loss of Self-Confidence
– Relationship Issues
– Depression & Anxiety
– Suicidal Thoughts & Feelings
– Substance Abuse
Church Documents Addressing Abortion
God loves each human life from the instant of his or her conception and entrusts this gift to the protection of a mother and father. Abortion ends the life of a child and offends God. It also deeply wounds the women and men involved.
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Procured Abortion (1974)
The first right of the human person is his life. He has other goods and some are more precious, but this one is fundamental – the condition of all the others. Hence it must be protected above all others. It does not belong to society, nor does it belong to public authority in any form to recognize this right for some and not for others: all discrimination is evil, whether it be founded on race, sex, color or religion. It is not recognition by another that constitutes this right. This right is antecedent to its recognition; it demands recognition and it is strictly unjust to refuse it.
Resolution on Abortion (1989)
We who revere human life as created in the image and likeness of God have all the more reason to take a stand. For us abortion is of overriding concern because it negates two of our most fundamental moral imperatives: respect for innocent life, and preferential concern for the weak and defenseless… No Catholic can responsibly take a “pro-choice” stand when the “choice” in question involves the taking of innocent human life.
Living the Gospel of Life: A Challenge to American Catholics (1998)
The Gospel of Life must be proclaimed, and human life defended, in all places and all times. The arena for moral responsibility includes not only the halls of government, but the voting booth as well. Laws that permit abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are profoundly unjust, and we should work peacefully and tirelessly to oppose and change them. Because they are unjust they cannot bind citizens in conscience, be supported, acquiesced in, or recognized as valid. Our nation cannot countenance the continued existence in our society of such fundamental violations of human rights.
Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities: A Campaign in Support of Life (2001)
Among important issues involving the dignity of human life with which the Church is concerned, abortion necessarily plays a central role. Abortion, the direct killing of an innocent human being, is always gravely immoral (The Gospel of Life, no. 57); its victims are the most vulnerable and defenseless members of the human family. It is imperative that those who are called to serve the least among us give urgent attention and priority to this issue of justice.
Pope John Paul II, Christifideles Laici (1988), no. 38
The inviolability of the person which is a reflection of the absolute inviolability of God, fínds its primary and fundamental expression in the inviolability of human life. Above all, the common outcry, which is justly made on behalf of human rights-for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture- is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.
Pope John Paul II, Evangelium vitae (1995), no. 101
It is impossible to further the common good without acknowledging and defending the right to life, upon which all the other inalienable rights of individuals are founded and from which they develop. A society lacks solid foundations when, on the one hand, it asserts values such as the dignity of the person, justice and peace, but then, on the other hand, radically acts to the contrary by allowing or tolerating a variety of ways in which human life is devalued and violated, especially where it is weak or marginalized. Only respect for life can be the foundation and guarantee of the most precious and essential goods of society, such as democracy and peace.
Organizations & Webpages
Below are organizations, along with their webpages, that serve as wonderful resources for parishes, families and individuals who would like to learn more about the topic of abortion from the perspective of the Catholic Church.
The USCCB offers a plethora of resources and information on their website. The Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities offers articles, documents, and prayer resources that cover the topic of abortion. These resources address Church teaching, post-abortive ministry, procedures, and legislation. For the “Abortion” specific page CLICK HERE. To be taken to the National Respect Life Page to access a variety of respect life resources CLICK HERE.
Mission: 40 Days for Life is an internationally coordinated 40-day campaign that aims to end abortion locally through prayer and fasting, community outreach, and a peaceful, all-day vigil in front of abortion providers. In the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, there are two active 40 Days for Life Campaigns in Dayton and Cincinnati. To learn more about 40 Days for Life or to sign up, CLICK HERE- DAYTON or CLICK HERE- CINCINNATI.
Mission: We promote the beauty and dignity of every human life by working to end abortion—uniting, educating, and mobilizing pro-life people in the public square. We march because we envision a future world where the beauty and dignity of every human life are valued and protected.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Archdiocesan March for Life Resources, especially our annual Youth Bus Trip!
Mission: The goal of the Charlotte Lozier Institute is to promote deeper public understanding of the value of human life, motherhood, and fatherhood, and to identify policies and practices that will protect life and serve both women’s health and family well-being. Our profound conviction is that the insights available through the best science, sociology and psychology cannot help but demonstrate that each and every human is not only “fearfully and wonderfully made” but blessed to be born at this time in human history.
Mission: The mission of Ohio Right to Life is to promote and defend the right to life of all innocent human beings, from the time of fertilization until natural death. Ohio Right to Life, the state affiliate of the National Right to Life Committee, is a statewide, non-profit, non-sectarian educational organization. Through the peaceful and legal means of education, legislation, and political action, ORTL works to restore legal personhood to the unborn and to protect the lives of medically vulnerable persons, including infants, the elderly, the disabled, and those suffering from chronic or terminal illness.
Local Right to Life Chapters
In addition to Ohio Right to Life, there are local chapters in the various counties within the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Below is an alphabetical list of local Right to Life Chapters.
In our media-driven world, it is imperative to use media resources to work to spread the Gospel of Life. Below are a variety of these media resources that could be used as conversation starters to delve more deeply into the issue of abortion.
This article explains the perspective of fathers who have lost children to an abortion experience. Men feel the traumatic loss of the child, especially when they were not part of the decision to abort.
In a video post on her Twitter page, Grazie Pozo Christie, M.D., a physician and Senior Policy Advisor for The Catholic Association addressed the media’s description of late-term abortion, stating, “Late-term abortion is never medically necessary.” To read the whole article- CLICK HERE.
Most people believe access to abortion should be limited. But how limited? Is abortion permissible to save the mother, or after rape or incest, or in cases of severe fetal deformities? Read this article for some answers to these hard questions.
Videos & Movies
An excellent way to help people to understand an issue is to present them with a story. The below video interviews, documentaries, and films are great resources for discussion on the topic of abortion. Many of the films also have links for discussion guides.
Released in 2009, this documentary exposes the Abortion industry’s true goal of making money off the exploration of vulnerable women. The documentary is available to purchase or rent from Amazon.
This documentary film explores the development of the growing fetus from conception to delivery. Open a window into the hidden world of the fetus and explore each trimester in amazing detail. It’s meant to be a joyous event, but in reality, it’s a gripping battle for survival. Using cutting edge technology, we go inside the womb and follow the incredible nine month journey from conception to birth, showing how the struggle for life turns into the miracle of birth.
This EWTN Pro-Life Weekly interview addresses the question of whether or not a woman should be permitted to abort a pregnancy conceived through rape. Jennifer Christie,a rape survivor, choose life for her son. She opens up about her journey and what she wants everyone to know.
Unplanned is the inspiring true story of one woman’s journey of transformation. All Abby Johnson ever wanted to do was help women. As one of the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic directors in the nation, she was involved in upwards of 22,000 abortions and counseled countless women about their reproductive choices… Until the day she saw something that changed everything, leading Abby Johnson to join her former enemies at 40 Days For Life, and become one of the most ardent pro-life speakers in America. For a Movie Discussion Guide CLICK HERE.
The film is the shocking true story of the investigation and trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell – his 30 year killing spree and the political and media establishment that tried to cover it up. Originally investigated for illegal prescription drug sales, a raid by DEA, FBI & local law enforcement revealed crimes they could not have expected within the clinic. Based on the NY Times Bestseller — Gosnell: The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer. For a Movie Discussion Guide CLICK HERE.
Sooner or later every one of us will face an irreversible moment that will change our lives forever. If it hasn’t happened to you yet…it will. BELLA is a true love story about how one day in New York City changed three people forever. For a Movie Discussion Guide CLICK HERE.
A pregnant teenager flees life with her drug-addicted mother and ends up living on the street before being welcomed into her first real home in Gimme Shelter, an extraordinary tale of survival and redemption inspired by actual events.
Here’s how you can reply to the most common pro-choice arguments you encounter every day. Such as “My Body, My Choice,” “A Fetus Is Not A Person,” and “Abortion Can Be Medically Necessary.”
Utilizing these printable resources and making them available to the public could save a life. If you need any help with these materials, please contact our office at (937) 281-4128 or (513) 263-6674.
The “You Are Not Alone” brochure lists all the pregnancy help centers located in the Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, and Springfield areas as well as additional resources for struggling families. Many thanks to the Advocates for Justice’s Parishes for Life Task Force for all their hard work developing this resource, and to ASFCreative for designing it.
The task force has also had great success in getting these brochures into public libraries, non-Catholic churches, and even those who bear witness in front of abortion clinics. We are now working on getting them in the hands of public and Catholic school nurses and counselors.
Project Rachel Printable Resources
Project Rachel is a diocesan-based network of specially trained priests, religious, counselors, and laypersons who provide a team response of care for those suffering in the aftermath of abortion. To be taken to our Project Rachel Page CLICK HERE.
How to Get Involved
To end the senseless killing of innocent human beings, we must take action. Whether that is through working towards advocacy, awareness, service or prayer. Below are a list of ways to get involved.
Advocacy & Awareness
In order to bring an end to abortion, we must not be silent and we must stay informed. Below is information about both the State and National Call to Action Websites. You can also get alerts from Ohio Right to Life or your local Right to Life Agencies on the webpages ABOVE.
Looking for a way to make a change in our world? The USCCB Action Center provides a huge amount of information regarding National Legislation and how Catholic citizens can get involved. You can also sign up for emails and text messages from the USCCB. CLICK HERE to visit the site or browse below.
Human Life Action sends out federal legislative action alerts on pro-life policy requesting grassroots action. We make it easy for you to stay on top of key pro-life legislative initiatives and to contact your elected federal representatives and other leaders with messages that build the culture of life and advocate for policy that protects human life and liberty.
The Conference represents the Church’s position before the Ohio General Assembly, various state departments, bureaus, agencies and other organizations. The Conference also provides facilitation, coordination and joint programming for diocesan groups involved in various Church ministries. You can sign up for statewide Action Alerts and will receive information on upcoming legislation in the state of Ohio. To go to the Action Alerts page CLICK HERE.
We are called to offer all things up to God in prayer, and as we face this culture of death, we especially offer up the unborn, their families, all the workers at Pregnancy Care Centers who devote their lives to this very important cause, and all those who work towards eradicating abortion in our state and our nation.
We also lift in prayer all of those who work in the Abortion Industry. We pray that the doctors, nurses, support personnel, and body guards grow to understand the atrocity that they participate in daily, and ask that you, Lord, open their hearts to the Culture of Life that was originally taught by your son, Jesus.
To be taken to our Pray to End Abortion Page CLICK HERE.
To promote the Pro Life cause within our community, it takes many hands. Service is essential to meet the needs of the thousands of women and men each year who turn away from abortion. We must show them the love they deserve for making a loving decision. Pregnancy Care Centers are frequently looking for volunteers to help sort, clean, answer phones, consult with clients, and provide ultrasounds to women in an unexpected pregnancy. If you would like to volunteer at a local Pregnancy Care Center CLICK HERE to be taken to our most updated brochure to find the one nearest you. Local Right to Life Organizations can also always use extra hands. To be taken to the list of local Right to Life Organizations in the state of Ohio CLICK HERE.