For those who believe the lie that the Holy Catholic Church’s anti-abortion stance is an innovation of the last century. Refer to the writings of the Holy Apostles, the Apostolic Fathers, and the Early Church Fathers.
The Didache of the Twelve Apostles
“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 Epistle of the Holy Disciple Barnabas
“Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born” (Letter of Barnabas 19:5 [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 v. 25 [A.D. 137]).
“What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers?
… When 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 fœtus 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 ch. 35 [A.D. 177]).
“In our case, murder being once for all forbidden, we may not destroy even the fœtus in the womb, while as yet the human
being derives blood from 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 the 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 within the womb are
dissected with anxious but unfaltering care; its last appendage being a
blunted or covered hook, wherewith the entire fœtus 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 ἐμβρυοσφάκτης,
the slayer of the infant, which was of course alive.
“[The doctors who performed abortions] who all knew well enough that a living being had been conceived, and pitied this most luckless infant state, which had first to be put to death, to escape being tortured alive.” (A Treatise on the Soul ch. 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).
“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]).
St. Hippolytus of Rome
“Whence women, reputed believers,
began to resort to drugs for producing sterility, and to gird
themselves round, so to expel what was being conceived on account of
their not wishing to have a child either by a slave or by any paltry
fellow, for the sake of their family and excessive wealth. Behold, into how great impiety that lawless one has proceeded, by inculcating adultery and murder at the same time!” (Refutation of All Heresies Book IX, Chapter 7 [A.D. 228])
The 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.” (The Council of Ancyra, Canon XXI [A.D. 374]).
St. 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]).
“[T]he 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).
St. 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?” (Homilies on Romans Ch. 24 [A.D. 391]).
“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 ensure 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]).