Abortion didn’t start with Roe v. Wade, and neither did the Catholic Church’s opposition to it. Way back in 1588, Pope Sixtus V issued a Papal Bull, called Effraenatam, excommunicating anyone directly involved in abortion, and calling on civil authorities to punish abortionists severely. He uses strong language to condemn abortion, calling attacks on the unborn person “brutal, cruel, ferocious and inhuman crimes.” Here’s some more from the declaration:
Who will not condemn to a most grave punishment the impiety of him… who has deprived children of life before they could naturally see light or could be protected by maternal body from ferocious cruelty? Who will not abhor the cruelty and unrestrained debauchery of impious men who have arrived into such a state of mind that they procure poisons in order to extinguish the conceived fetuses within the viscera, and pour them out, trying to provoke by a nefarious crime a violent and untimely death and killing of their progeny? Finally who will not condemn to a most grave punishment the crimes of those who with poisons, potions and evil actions sterilize women or impede that they conceive or give birth by pernicious medicines and drugs?
We are willing to exterminate in our times also this evil as much as a We can by the strength given to Us by the Lord….
While it is fascinating to see the Church fighting abortion centuries ago, it is also a grim reminder that the battle to protect the sanctity of human life will continue as long as their are those who would harm the innocent unborn person.