Social Justice and Sins against the Beginning of Human Life

As I continue writing about the sins against marriage, true violations of social justice, it is time to turn from the disordered sexual actions to the disorders, the grave injustices that bear on the human life itself that is generated. Already, with contraception, man begins an attempt to wrest the springs of life from the hands of God, but with the crimes that follow man truly begins to take the place of God.

The first, best known, and most obvious, is what very often takes place when contraception fails – and it does fail – namely abortion, the grave crime that is nothing less than a murder of an innocent human being at its most vulnerable and in the one place where it by rights should be the most protected.

While the Coronavirus Pandemic has everyone’s attention right now, worst case estimates for the United States foresee a possibility of 2.2 million deaths. Since Roe v. Wade there have been 61 million abortions in the United States. While the number of abortions has dropped significantly in recent years, the annual average is at about 1.3 million. As late as 1997 it actually exceeded heart disease and cancer combined as the leading cause of death. Now it has fallen to 2nd place behind heart disease. Still that is more than 600,000 abortions too many each year.

I write very objectively about the nature of the crime. The woman who seeks an abortion, however, very often, far from choosing freely, feels she has no options. That is the testimony of Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood clinic director, who herself had two abortions.

The woman who seeks an abortion has, in the first place, been abandoned by a society that first has declared a ‘right’ to abortion and now even begins to celebrate abortion. The society in which she lives, far from deterring her from having an abortion, leaves her, in the moment of a grave crisis in her life, with the door open and even encourages her to walk through that door, whiling leaving her in the dark as to what she is doing and what the consequences will be. Further, the woman is very often abandoned by the father of the child and even pressured at times by her own parents. Very often there is hardly a person so alone and abandoned in the world as a woman who chooses to have an abortion. Then she must live the rest of her life with the knowledge of what she has done to her own child, a knowledge that even God’s forgiveness in the confessional cannot extinguish, and how by extinguishing the life in her womb she profoundly violated her own nature and dignity as a woman.

Those most guilty here are the politicians, judges, lawyers, and celebrities, especially the ones who call themselves Catholic, who have established and maintain the abortion regime. It is a great disgrace that so many Catholics who pride themselves on their social justice credentials fail to recognize the gravity of abortion as a social justice issue. The supposed right to an abortion undercuts the very possibility of a right social order and has radically corrupted the fields of medicine, law, and politics. This is truly a crime that calls to God for vengeance. (cf. CCC 1867, cf. Rev 6:10)

Abortion extinguishes the life conceived in the womb, but “in-vitro” fertilization takes the generation of life away from the marital act and turns a human being into a laboratory product rather than the offspring of the loving union of husband and wife. Indeed, so far is this from the loving union of husband and wife that the man’s contribution must be obtained by ‘self-abuse’.

There is no right to have a child. A child does not belong first to his parents, but to God, the Creator. The parents are not the masters of procreation, but in the procreative act, they place themselves as the service of God. If God chooses not to create a new life through them, even after much prayer and supplication, and even after recourse to every legitimate medical means, there is nothing left for them to do but humbly submit to the will of God.

“In-vitro” fertilization is bad enough when is employed by a legitimate husband and wife, but the levels of perversity mount when someone else’s womb is ‘rented’ as a surrogate mother and when, even worse, it is put at the service of providing same sex couples with children, turning the same sex relationship even more into an obscene mockery of holy matrimony.

In addition, there are the embryos (that is tiny human beings) that are inevitably destroyed as part of the process and the other innumerable embryos that are frozen indefinitely. Many of those frozen embryos are no longer wanted and many no longer even have legitimate parents, meaning there is no longer any legitimate way to bring them to term. The holy angels weep. The Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God weeps. Jesus weeps.



Fr. Joseph Levine graduated from Thomas Aquinas College and after a long journey was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Baker, Oregon. He currently serves as pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in The Dalles on the Columbia River.

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