Indirect abortion

The indirect abortion is the name given to an abortion procedure that has a therapeutic medical effect, presumably to save the life of a mother.


Scholars of the National Catholic Magazine and 1 make a distinction between “direct abortions”, ie abortion which is an end or a means, and “indirect abortion”, when fetal loss is considered a “secondary effect”.

For example, if a woman suffers an ectopic pregnancy (when the fetus grows in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus ), a doctor may remove the fallopian tube as therapeutic treatment to save the lives of women. The infant will not survive later, but the intention of the procedure and its action is to preserve the life of the woman: it is not a direct abortion.

While the positions of the two previous paragraphs appear in contradiction, the relevant distinction may be between cases where the woman’s life may be in danger, and cases where it is almost certain that the woman will die without the procedure that would purposely destroy the fetus.

Humanae Vitae

This is also supported by the 1968 Humanae Vitae , which states that “the Church does not consider unlawful the use of those therapeutic measures necessary to cure physiological diseases, even if they are a foreseeable impediment to procreation – Any reason. ” Paul VI quoted Pius XII in a prayer to the Italian Association of Urology in 1953.

Prayer of Benedict XVI in Angola

Benedict XVI gave a controversial prayer in Angola , where he appeared to mix the distinction between indirect abortion and direct abortion. He condemned all forms of abortion, including those that were considered therapeutic. He raised the eyebrows of the Vatican’s communications department, which reiterated the distinction between direct and indirect abortion, and said that the address only reaffirmed the Church’s opposition to some sections of the Maputo Protocol , which was gender-oriented. 2 3


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