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Toward canonically equating abortion and murder

May 29, 2013

There’s a chilling news article on infanticides after ‘failed abortions’ over at Life Action News. It occasions this thought.

Both the Eastern and Western Codes of Canon Law make abortion an excommunicable offense (CCEO 1450 § 2; 1983 CIC 1398), but only the Eastern Code makes murder itself  excommunicable  (CCEO 1450 § 1); Western canon law punishes homicide with a “just penalty” (1983 CIC 1397).

I am at work on longer study of homicide under canon law, but I pause to suggest that the time has come to introduce (or reintroduce, if one prefers) excommunication for all murder, not just for those pre-natal murders known as abortions–and no, not latae sententiae excommunication (which institute raises different problems), just excommunication.

If the State won’t protect pre-born babies (as in the case of abortion) or if it can’t effectively protect neo-nate babies (as in the case of failed abortions), then the Church should step in as best she can and threaten her own sanctions on their behalf.

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