Abortion & Surgery

In an April 2001 editorial of this journal I argued that there is no moral parity between the deliberate abortion of an unborn child and certain other medical procedures in which the death of the unborn child is inevitable even though not directly willed. These latter procedures, I reasoned, may be morally responsible applications of the principle of double effect. By way of illustration, I referred to the removal of a fallopian tube, in which a fetus has become lodged, even though that surgical procedure (salpingectomy) necessarily involves the loss of the unborn child.

In response to that editorial I have received letters . . .

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Patrick Henry Reardon is pastor emeritus of All Saints Antiochian Orthodox Church in Chicago, Illinois, and the author of numerous books, including, most recently, Out of Step with God: Orthodox Christian Reflections on the Book of Numbers (Ancient Faith Publishing, 2019).


more on abortion from the online archives

19.1—January/February 2006

As If We Were to Be Immortal

on Death & Seven of the Last Words of Socrates by Graeme Hunter

30.3—May/June 2017

Known Trespassing

on the Misuse of Property Rights to Justify Slavery & Abortion by Robert Hart

27.2—March/April 2014

The Rights of Aphrodite

on C. S. Lewis & the New State Paganism by W. E. Knickerbocker

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