Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Fourth Trimester Abortion

September 14th, 2011 by Adam G.

Liberals believe in offing babies left and right before they’re born,* but after they’re born, no one defends the babies right to life more staunchly. They treat infanticide at least as harshly as traffic violations, and perhaps even with all the rigor and severity of a Class C misdeamenor.

The human mind, it turns out, isn’t very good at making fine distinctions. The human mind is even worse at making nonsensical distinctions, such as the “distinction” between a helpless human infant in the womb and a helpless human infant out of it.

I don’t have access to a detailed breakdown of Canadian abortion figures, but their abortion license is in many ways even more liberal than the United States. So it is reasonable that about 10% of their abortions are late-term abortions, just as here. In other words, Canada smiles on killing about 10,000 recognizably human infants a year. What’s one more baby and a few more weeks really matter?

I have long argued that the Church does not explicitly permit abortions of any kind. While the vast category of abortions are explicitly prohibited, there are certain categories where the Church has not taken a general stance and directs the family to seek revelation in conjunction with their bishop. If you interpret this direction to seek guidance as a statement that abortion is necessarily morally permissible under those circumstances, you believe that killing a baby a day or two before birth is OK, while killing it afterwards ain’t. Which is manifest nonsense.**

Too many people approach the abortion issue from the starting point that the poor little women mustn’t be made to feel bad. A better starting point would the bedrock conviction that infanticide is a millstone offense.

*Well, mostly left, as it turns out, since African-American babies are disproportionately likely to be offed.
**However, Mormonism offers one of the very few ways of stopping the slippery-slope slide from late-term abortion to infanticide.

Comments (4)
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September 14th, 2011 10:03:19

September 14, 2011

Millstone offense … nice expression.

It isn’t widely known, but Padme had a tubal pregnancy once. Most of the time these things run their course. The fetus cannot possibly survive long in the Fallopian tube, and a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) soon follows.

Occasionally the spontaneous abortion is delayed to the point where there is danger of rupture of the Fallopian tube and life-threatening internal bleeding. This was the case with Padme. We did not stop to consult our bishop or pray for confirmatory revelation before consenting to a tubal resection. Frankly, it never occurred to us to do so until later, when there was time for reflection. There was no chance at all of the fetus surviving, and significant chance of imminent real harm to Padme, so it seemed open and shut. I’m not sure it even occur to me to think of this as an abortion; I thought of it as I would think of a D&C following any other form of miscarriage.

Later, it sunk in what we had done. I think we would have done the same thing regardless (as I said, it seemed kind of open and shut) but it might have been good to have had a spiritual reassurance about it, for later.

But hours counted. There certainly would not have been time to consult the First Presidency, which is probably why ordinary bishops are given the awesome responsibility of judging the rare exceptions to the rule against abortion.

Pecos Bill
September 14, 2011

That there slope is slicker than a crude metaphor on a doorknob.

Adam Greenwood
September 14, 2011

I understand that Catholics do not believe that tubal resection is an abortion at all, based on the principle of double effect, though there reasoning is a little obscure to me.

September 14, 2011

I can’t claim expertise in moral theology, but I think this article explains the issue pretty well:


If you read it I would be interested to know whether it answered your questions.

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