The right to life exists in all humans; it is the essence of human existence and bound to a human's nature. An abortion is when an unborn child is killed when that child is still in the womb. Understanding this, does an unborn child have the right to life or may those who have conceived this innocent child choose to kill it? The issue of abortion is an extremely important one today in society and one must reason for how it is allowed to continue. The Catholic Church has taken a stand against abortion beginning in the first century and the Church continues to fight for the rights of the innocent unborn child.1 .
The Catholic perspective on abortion begins with the fifth commandment, "You shall not kill". The fifth commandment forbids the action of murder on a human being that is done directly or intentionally.2 No man can claim the right to kill an innocent human, for it is only the decision of God. This is found in both the Sermon on the Mount 5:21 and Exodus 23:7 of Scripture: "You shall not kill"(Mt 5:21) and "Do not slay the innocent and the righteous"(Ex 23:7).3 It is mans right to live and this should not be taken away from any innocent human no matter the circumstances. The purpose of the fifth commandment is to emphasize the value of human life and to ensure it is kept sacred in the lives of those who live under the moral law. God gave life to man for him to respect and promote it, not to regard it as an object and something that is not a gift. This is why the Catholic Church has opposed abortions since the first century and The Church states, "Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception."4 This statement by the Catholic Church of how human life begins at the moment of conception is a very important point because it turns the abortion procedure into the killing of an innocent life. As learned from the fifth commandment, it is strictly forbidden by God for an innocent person to be killed.