9 Crystal Clear Pro-Life Quotes from the Early Church

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In case anyone has any confusion about where the earliest Christians stood on abortion…

1) “You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child.”

Didache 2.1–2, A.D. 70

2) “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

3) “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.”

Tertullian, Apology 9.8, A.D. 197

4) “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”

Minucius Felix, Octavius 30, A.D. 226

5) “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!”

Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, A.D. 228

6) “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.”

St. Basil the Great, First Canonical Letter, canon 8, A.D. 374

7) “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?”

St. John Chrysostom, Homilies on Romans 24, A.D. 391

8) “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.”

St. Jerome, Letters 22.13, A.D. 396

9) You shall not slay your 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

All quotes have been taken from Catholic Answers