Religion

Mizuko Kuyo

By Katherine Brind'Amour, Benjamin Garcia

Mizuko Kuyo is a Japanese Buddhist ceremony that focuses on a deceased fetus or stillborn child. This ceremony was originally developed to honor Jizo, a god believed to be responsible for transporting dead fetuses or children to the other world. The practice has become more popular in the last half century due to the growing number of abortions taking place and the particular views that Japanese Buddhists have about fetuses and abortion.

Created 2007-10-30

Last modified 2 years 3 months ago

Format: Articles

St. Augustine (354-430)

By Katherine Brind'Amour

St. Augustine of Hippo, born Aurelius Augustinus to a respectable family in the year 354 CE, is now considered one of the foremost theologians in the history of the Catholic Church. His writings, including his philosophy regarding life in the womb and the moral worth of embryos, influenced many other great thinkers of his time and throughout history.

Created 2007-11-01

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Roman Catholic Church Quickening

By Katherine Brind'Amour

Although the concept of quickening was not developed initially by the Roman Catholic Church, much of their histories are intertwined. Quickening, the point at which a pregnant woman can first feel the movements of the growing embryo or fetus, has long been a pivotal moment in pregnancy. Historically, it has also been a pivotal moment for law and the Church in deciding the criminal and religious sanctions for women who intentionally procured an abortion.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 3 years 5 months ago

Format: Articles

"Declaration on Procured Abortion" (1974), by the Vatican

By Katherine Brind'Amour

As various societies around the world began legalizing abortive procedures or liberalizing government stances on abortion, the Roman Catholic Church's leaders felt the need to respond to these changes by clarifying the Church's position on procured abortion. One incident in particular that may have inspired the "Declaration on Procured Abortion" is the landmark case in the United States Supreme Court in 1973: Roe v. Wade.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

By Katherine Brind'Amour

Mother Teresa, a Roman Catholic nun known for her charitable work and attention to the poor, was born 26 August 1910. The youngest child of Albanian parents Nikola and Drane Bojaxhiu, she was christened Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu and spent her early life in the place of her birth, present-day Skopje, in the Republic of Macedonia. In addition to her unwavering devotion to serve the sick and the poor, Mother Teresa firmly defended traditional Catholic teachings on more controversial issues, such as contraception and abortion.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Evangelium Vitae (1995), by Pope John Paul II

By Benjamin Garcia, Katherine Brind'Amour

The encyclical entitled "Evangelium Vitae," meaning "The Gospel of Life," was promulgated on 25 March 1995 by Pope John Paul II in Rome, Italy. The document was written to reiterate the view of the Roman Catholic Church on the value of life and to warn against violating the sanctity of life. The document focuses on right to life issues including abortion, birth control, and euthanasia, but also touches on other concepts relevant to embryology, such as contraception, in vitro fertilization, sterilization, embryonic stem cell research, and fetal experimentation.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Pope Sixtus V (1520-1590)

By Katherine Brind'Amour

Known for dropping a long-held distinction in the Catholic Church between the animated and unanimated fetus, Felice Peretti was born in Grottamare, Italy, in 1521, son of a Dalmatian gardener. In his early years, Peretti worked as a swineherd, but soon became involved in the local Minorite convent in Montalto, where he served as a novice at the age of twelve. He went on to study in Montalto, Ferrara, and Bologna, continuing his devotion to religious life, and in 1547 Peretti was ordained as priest in the city of Siena.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Pope Innocent XI (1611-1689)

By Katherine Brind'Amour, Benjamin Garcia

Pope Innocent XI, born Benedetto Odescalchi, made considerable contributions to the Roman Catholic approach to embryology by condemning several propositions on liberal moral theology in 1679, including two related to abortion and ensoulment. His rejection of these principles strengthened the Church's stance against abortion and for the idea of "hominization," meaning the presence of human qualities before birth.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

"Effraenatam" (1588), by Pope Sixtus V

By Katherine Brind'Amour

"Effraenatam," the brain-child of Pope Sixtus V, was released as a papal bull in the year 1588. Papal bulls are formal declarations issued by the pope of the Roman Catholic Church and are named for their authenticating leaden seals (bullas). This particular document became famous for its official forbiddance of all procured abortions. "Effraenatam," meaning "without restraint," is often regarded as a specific response to increasing rates of prostitution and procured abortions in the Papal States, though this is not discussed in the actual document.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)

By Katherine Brind'Amour, Benjamin Garcia

Pope John Paul II's views on abortion and embryology have been very influential to the Roman Catholic Church. He strictly forbade abortion and other threats to what he regarded as early human life in his encyclical entitled "Evangelium Vitae," meaning the "Gospel of Life." His authority on moral and social issues was highly regarded during his lifetime.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Pope Paul VI (1897-1978)

By Katherine Brind'Amour, Benjamin Garcia

Pope Paul VI, born Giovanni Battista Enrico Antonio Maria Montini, has been crucial to the clarification of Roman Catholic views on embryos and abortion in recent history. His 1968 encyclical "Humanae Vitae" spoke to the regulation of birth through various methods of contraception and sterilization. This encyclical, a result of Church hesitancy to initiate widespread discussion of the issue in a council of the Synod of Bishops, led to much controversy in the Church but established a firm Catholic position on the issues of birth control and family planning.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Summa Theologica by St. Thomas Aquinas

By Katherine Brind'Amour

The principal work of St. Thomas Aquinas, the Summa Theologica is divided into three parts and is designed to instruct both beginners and experts in all matters of Christian Truth. It discusses topics central to Christian morality, ethics, law, and the life of Christ, providing philosophical and theological solutions to common arguments and questions surrounding the Christian faith. The views presented in this body of writing are currently upheld in large part by the modern doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

St. Thomas Aquinas (c. 1225-1274)

By Katherine Brind'Amour

Widely known as a key contributor to the Roman Catholic Church's body of doctrine, St. Thomas Aquinas also published an opinion on the moral status of embryos and fetuses that seems contradictory to the Catholic Church's current standpoint on the matter. Born in Naples, Italy, around 1225 (scholars debate the exact year of many of his life events) to wealthy nobility, Thomas Aquinas quickly proved himself a pious and astute scholar with an insatiable desire for logic and understanding.

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Pope Pius XI (1857-1939)

By Katherine Brind'Amour

Pope Pius XI, born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, was born to the wealthy owner of a silk factory on 31 May 1857 in Desio, Italy. He was ordained to the priesthood at the age of eighteen, at which time he began a long life devoted to study, peacekeeping, and the betterment of societies around the world. Pius XI is noted here for his contribution to the Roman Catholic Church's early twentieth century approach to issues regarding contraception and abortion, which was presented in his December 1930 encyclical "Casti Connubii."

Created 2007-11-11

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Humanae Vitae (1968), by Pope Paul VI

By Katherine Brind'Amour, Benjamin Garcia

The "Humanae Vitae," meaning "Of Human Life" and subtitled "On the Regulation of Birth," was an encyclical promulgated in Rome, Italy, on 25 July 1968 by Pope Paul VI. This encyclical defended and reiterated the Roman Catholic Church's stance on family planning and reproductive issues such as abortion, sterilization, and contraception. The document continues to have a controversial reputation today, as its statements regarding birth control strike many Catholics as unreasonable.

Created 2007-11-13

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Father Frank Pavone (1959- )

By Katherine Brind'Amour

Father Frank Pavone, a key proponent of the Roman Catholic Church's pro-life movement, has devoted his life's work to ending abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and other techniques and procedures that he believes threaten human life from conception to death. His contributions to the pro-life movement include founding a new religious order called the Missionaries of the Gospel of Life and participating in high-profile protests and television interviews for the pro-life cause.

Created 2008-02-29

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Casti Connubii (1930), by Pope Pius XI

By Katherine Brind'Amour

"Casti Connubii," a papal encyclical given by Pope Pius XI on 31 December 1930, served primarily as a reaffirmation and expansion of the issues discussed in Arcanum, an encyclical written by Pope Leo XIII. It was released to address new threats to marriage and conjugal unity, and indeed is translated "On Christian Marriage" or "On Chastity in Marriage." The document explores the meaning of Christian marriage and emphasizes its threefold purpose as borrowed from St.

Created 2009-01-20

Last modified 1 year 11 months ago

Format: Articles

Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)

By Katherine Brind'Amour

Pope Pius XII was born Eugenio Maria Giuseppi Giovanni Pacelli on 2 March 1876 in Rome, Italy, to Virginia and Filippo Pacelli. Known for his oft-disputed role in the Roman Catholic Church's approach to the Nazis and World War II, Pope Pius XII also contributed a number of important documents regarding conception, fertility, abortion, and reproductive control to the Vatican's collection of writings and doctrine on procreation.

Created 2010-06-10

Last modified 1 year 10 months ago

Format: Articles

The Time Has Come: A Catholic Doctor's Proposals to End the Battle over Birth Control (1963), by John Rock

By Christina Raup

In 1963, Roman Catholic fertility doctor John Rock published The Time Has Come: A Catholic Doctor's Proposals to End the Battle over Birth Control, a first-person treatise on the use of scientifically approved forms of birth control for Catholic couples. The first contraceptive pill, called Enovid, had been on the market since June 1960, and Rock was one of the leading researchers in its development. In The Time Has Come, Rock explicitly describes the arguments for and against the use of birth control from both a religious and a scientific perspective.

Created 2010-06-10

Last modified 1 year 10 months ago

Format: Articles

Pope Gregory XIV (1535-1591)

By Angel Lopez

Pope Gregory XIV, born Nicolo Sfondrati, reversed the bull of Pope Sixtus V, Effraenatum, under which an abortion at any time of gestation can be punished by excommunication. He supported the Aristotelian distinction between an "animated" and "unanimated" fetus, making abortion of an unanimated fetus punishable by lesser means. This decision contributed to the historical debates within the Roman Catholic Church on when a fetus has a soul, and when abortion was punishable by excommunication.

Created 2010-06-22

Last modified 1 year 10 months ago

Format: Articles

Pope Pius IX (1792-1878)

By Angel Lopez

Pope Pius IX, born Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, marked his contribution to the abortion debate by removing the distinction between an "animated" and "unanimated" fetus from Catholic doctrine, and established the edict that a human should be protected starting from the moment of conception onward. This proclamation made abortion at any time of gestation punishable by excommunication. Pope Pius IX's decision became Canon Law of the Catholic Church.

Created 2010-07-01

Last modified 1 year 10 months ago

Format: Articles

Barry Morris Goldwater (1909–1998)

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

Barry Morris Goldwater was a Republican Arizona Senator and US presidential candidate in the twentieth-century whose policies supported the women's reproductive rights movement. Goldwater, a businessman and Air Force reservist, transitioned into politics in the 1950s. He helped align popular support for a conservative Republican Party in the 1960s. Throughout his life, he worked to maintain personal liberty and to limit governmental intrusion into citizens' private lives. Goldwater, influenced by his wife Margaret (Peggy) Goldwater, supported women's rights to abortions.

Created 2016-10-28

Last modified 3 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

People's Padre: An Autobiography (1954), by Emmett McLoughlin

By Claudia Nunez-Eddy

Emmett McLoughlin wrote People's Padre: An Autobiography, based on his experiences as a Roman Catholic priest advocating for the health of people in Arizona. The Beacon Press in Boston, Massachusetts, published the autobiography in 1954. McLoughlin was a Franciscan Order Roman Catholic priest who advocated for public housing and healthcare for the poor and for minority groups in Phoenix, Arizona, during the mid twentieth century. The autobiography recounts McLoughlin's efforts in founding several community initiatives throughout Phoenix, including the St.

Created 2016-11-08

Last modified 3 months 2 weeks ago

Format: Articles

Eclipse of Reason (1987)

By Sepehr Abdi-Moradi

Eclipse of Reason is a 1987 anti-abortion documentary film directed, filmed, and narrated by Bernard Nathanson, an obstetrician in the US. American Portrait Films released the film in 1987 featuring Nathanson’s commentary and footage of an abortion of a four-month-old fetus. The film also featured the testimony of women who had suffered following similar procedures. In Eclipse of Reason, Nathanson equates the fetus to a person, likening abortion procedures to murder and arguing for the illegalization of abortion.

Created 2017-02-11

Last modified 1 week 4 days ago

Format: Articles