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Medical School Prof: Catholic Church Always Loved Abortion

Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS, a Professor of Preventive Medicine at the School of Medicine, Stony Brook University, says life doesn't begin at conception. Huh? And then he brilliantly adds that the Catholic Church taught that abortion was okey dokey up until the 19th century. Double huh?

Jonas at once proves that ideology is more important that science to him and shows an incredible willingness to speak about things he doesn't have the faintest clue about.

Showing what a balanced and heady approach he's taking, he accuses pro-lifers of "sexism, misogyny, and male chauvinism." Then, after embarrassing himself with name-calling and proving himself to be a child, he then proves himself an asshat.

On GOP pseudo-science, concerning the criminalization-of-abortion issue, there is, for example, the fake "libertarian" (Dr.) Rand Paul saying that it's a scientific fact that life begins at the moment of conception and thus abortion should be re-criminalized. Speaking as a physician myself, I wonder what medical school he went to, or maybe he just wasn't paying much attention during his obstetrics clerkship. No, Rand, it is not a scientific fact that life begins at the moment of conception, any more than, Todd (Akin), women when raped have some sort of built-in magical contraceptive mechanism. The first is a religious notion, the second, pure fantasy.

In fact, on the religious side, great Catholic theologians, like St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas themselves, did not believe that the soul (which, they felt, upon its arrival in the fetus indicated that "life" had begun) was present in the embryo from the moment of conception, but that it arrived somewhat later (5). "Later" was usually defined by them as the time of "quickening," which occurs some time on the 2nd trimester. So early abortion was OK for Catholics. That is until it happened to be declared not OK by Pope Pius IX in 1869 (he who also delivered to Catholics the doctrine of Papal Infallibility and the concept of the Virgin Birth).
The Church has always taught that human life deserves respect from its very beginning and that procured abortion is a grave moral evil, the USCCB has stated clearly.

Catholic Answers compiled this list of quotations to counter this same argument when Nancy Pelosi proffered it a few years ago.


The Didache

"The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child" (Didache 2:1–2 [A.D. 70]).


The Letter of Barnabas

"The way of light, then, is as follows. If anyone desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following. . . . Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born" (Letter of Barnabas 19 [A.D. 74]).


The Apocalypse of Peter

"And near that place I saw another strait place . . . and there sat women. . . . And over against them many children who were born to them out of due time sat crying. And there came forth from them rays of fire and smote the women in the eyes. And these were the accursed who conceived and caused abortion" (The Apocalypse of Peter 25 [A.D. 137]).


Athenagoras

"What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers?
. . . [W]hen we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very fetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it" (A Plea for the Christians 35 [A.D. 177]).


Tertullian

"In our case, a murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fetus in the womb, while as yet the human being derives blood from the other parts of the body for its sustenance. To hinder a birth is merely a speedier man-killing; nor does it matter whether you take away a life that is born, or destroy one that is coming to birth. That is a man which is going to be one; you have the fruit already in its seed" (Apology 9:8 [A.D. 197]).

"Among surgeons’ tools there is a certain instrument, which is formed with a nicely-adjusted flexible frame for opening the uterus first of all and keeping it open; it is further furnished with an annular blade, by means of which the limbs [of the child] within the womb are dissected with anxious but unfaltering care; its last appendage being a blunted or covered hook, wherewith the entire fetus is extracted by a violent delivery.

"There is also [another instrument in the shape of] a copper needle or spike, by which the actual death is managed in this furtive robbery of life: They give it, from its infanticide function, the name of embruosphaktes, [meaning] "the slayer of the infant," which of course was alive. . . .

"[The doctors who performed abortions] all knew well enough that a living being had been conceived, and [they] pitied this most luckless infant state, which had first to be put to death, to escape being tortured alive" (The Soul 25 [A.D. 210]).

"Now we allow that life begins with conception because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does" (ibid., 27).

"The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion [Ex. 21:22–24]" (ibid., 37).

Minucius Felix

"There are some [pagan] women who, by drinking medical preparations, extinguish the source of the future man in their very bowels and thus commit a parricide before they bring forth. And these things assuredly come down from the teaching of your [false] gods. . . . To us [Christians] it is not lawful either to see or hear of homicide" (Octavius 30 [A.D. 226]).


Hippolytus

"Women who were reputed to be believers began to take drugs to render themselves sterile, and to bind themselves tightly so as to expel what was being conceived, since they would not, on account of relatives and excess wealth, want to have a child by a slave or by any insignificant person. See, then, into what great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by teaching adultery and murder at the same time!" (Refutation of All Heresies [A.D. 228]).


Council of Ancyra

"Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfill ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees" (canon 21 [A.D. 314]).


Basil the Great

"Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years’ penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not" (First Canonical Letter, canon 2 [A.D. 374]).

"He that kills another with a sword, or hurls an axe at his own wife and kills her, is guilty of willful murder; not he who throws a stone at a dog, and unintentionally kills a man, or who corrects one with a rod, or scourge, in order to reform him, or who kills a man in his own defense, when he only designed to hurt him. But the man, or woman, is a murderer that gives a philtrum, if the man that takes it dies upon it; so are they who take medicines to procure abortion; and so are they who kill on the highway, and rapparees" (ibid., canon 8).


John Chrysostom

"Wherefore I beseech you, flee fornication. . . . Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit?—where there are many efforts at abortion?—where there is murder before the birth? For even the harlot you do not let continue a mere harlot, but make her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to prostitution, prostitution to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then do thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with his laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine" (Homilies on Romans 24 [A.D. 391]).


Jerome

"I cannot bring myself to speak of the many virgins who daily fall and are lost to the bosom of the Church, their mother. . . . Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder" (Letters 22:13 [A.D. 396]).


The Apostolic Constitutions


"Thou shalt not use magic. Thou shalt not use witchcraft; for he says, ‘You shall not suffer a witch to live’ [Ex. 22:18]. Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. . . . [I]f it be slain, [it] shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed" (Apostolic Constitutions 7:3 [A.D. 400]).



*subhead*History.*subhead*

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10 comments:

Lynda said...

He must have missed the course on embryology at medical school.

DanW said...

Pius IX delivered to Catholics the concept of the Virgin Birth? This guy must really do some strange research!!

Michael F. said...

What does science actually say about when each new human life begins?

FACT: at conception, a new, distinct member of the species homo sapiens comes into existence.

"Fertilization is a sequence of events that begins with the contact of a sperm (spermatozoon) with a secondary oocyte (ovum) and ends with the fusion of their pronuclei ... and the mingling of their chromosomes to form a new cell. This fertilized ovum, known as a zygote, is a large diploid cell that is the beginning ... of a human being." (Moore, Keith L., Essentials of Human Embryology. Toronto: B.C. Decker, Inc., 1988, p.2.)

"Almost all higher animals start their lives from a single cell, the fertilized ovum (zygote). ... The time of fertilization represents the starting point in the life history, or ontogeny, of the individual." (Carlson, Bruce M., Patten's Foundations of Embryology, 6th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996, p.3.)

“From the moment a baby is conceived, it bears the indelible stamp of a separate distinct personality, an individual different from all other individuals.” Ultrasound pioneer, Sir William Liley, MD 1967

“After fertilization has taken place, a new human being has come into existence. This is no longer a matter of taste or opinion. Each individual has a very neat beginning, at conception.” Dr. Jerome Lejeune, genetics professor at the University of Descartes, Paris. Discoverer of the Down’s Syndrome chromosome

“It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception.” Professor M. Matthew-Roth, Harvard University Medical School

“By all the criteria of modern molecular biology, life is present from the moment of conception.” Professor Hymie Gordon, Mayo Clinic

“That is, in human reproduction, when sperm joins ovum, these two individual cells cease to be, and their union generates a new and distinct organism. This organism is a whole, though in the beginning developmentally immature, member of the human species. Readers need not take our word for this: They can consult any of the standard human-embryology texts, such as Moore and Persaud’s The Developing Human, Larsen’s Human Embryology, Carlson’s Human Embryology & Developmental Biology, and O’Rahilly and Mueller’s Human Embryology & Teratology.” – Dr. Robert George, "Embryo"


“I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.... I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life....

I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty...is not a human being. This is human life at every stage.”

Dr. Alfred M. Bongiovanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania testifying to a U.S. Senate committee that human life begins at conception (97th Congress, 1st Session 1981).

Michael F. said...

This National Geographic video of a baby developing in the womb is also fascinating.

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/national-geographic-channel/all-videos/ngc-in-the-womb-1/

Four statements seem particularly interesting, but the entire video is worth watching:

“Once within the egg wall, the sperm’s nucleus is drawn toward the egg’s. The two cells gradually and gracefully become one. This is the moment of conception – when an individual’s unique set of DNA is created – a human signature that never existed before and will never be repeated.”

“The mother provides the shelter and the basics - food, water and oxygen. But the real star of the show is the fetus herself – building, dividing, growing according to an intricate set of plans created at the moment of conception.”

“The genes she’s [the girl shown in the womb] inherited already predetermine her looks and much of her character. Whether she’s stubborn or intelligent, a thrill-seeker or good at music and even her vulnerabilities to certain diseases like cancer, schizophrenia and diabetes. The exact course of her life will depend on such things as her friends, family and environment. But at the instant of fertilization, much of her future is predetermined.”

“Where it once seemed that the mental development of a baby began at birth, now it appears that birth could be a relatively insignificant event in developmental terms. She may have to support herself after birth, but as for the process of thinking, learning and remembering, she’s already been hard at it for three months [before birth]. And her brain will continue to grow at the same rate for the next year.”

Michael F. said...

Also recommended:

http://www.abort73.com/abortion/medical_testimony/

http://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html

http://web.archive.org/web/20110716074456/http://clinicquotes.com/site/story.php?id=28

jerry243 said...

This may possibly be my favorite Catholic blog, second only to BadCatholic. Keep up the great work!

Teófilo de Jesús said...

Don't you love it when the ignorant believe they are teachers? Yes, ignorance feeds self-importance and empty daring.

+JMJ,
~Theo

Proteios1 said...

As a professor who does biochemical research, I always shudder when clinical or medical professionals try to 'educate' outside the realm of physiology. Of course, this guy cannot even do that.
COnsider what the term 'doctor' means. A doctor of the church brings in new knowledge and insights about the facts and truths revealed by God (without changing it). Physicians are not real doctors. THey rarely bring anything new to our knowledge base (although <1% have worked hard and earned the title). Most are clinical practitioners (those we see when we need medical attention).
But conferring the title of doctor is disrespectful to those amazing doctors of the church or doctors perfomring valuable research. A practitioner should focus on what they are trianed to do. What they are good at.
Healing the sick. NOt killing them off

Gen X Revert said...

Where did this Prof's quote above come from? I did not see a link to it, or a mention?

Anonymous said...

I AM A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL! AND I SAY, SCIENTIFICALLY, THAT LIFE BEGINS WELL AFTER CONCEPTION.... (for my scientific proof, I'll quote religious leaders).

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