In the realm of reason and light of faith, in the order ethics and the sphere morals, the Catholic Church is relevant not only to the world here and now, but also to the reality hereafter and beyond – not merely in spiritual matters but also in temporal issues, not simply transient questions but likewise eternal concerns. In other words, the Catholic Church is about heaven and earth, about God and man, definitely neither exclusively one nor the other but both – even but considering that man is made to the Image of God.
Among other things, the respect for human life is mandatory as far as both the State and the Church are concerned. So it is too that murder is penalized by both Criminal Law and Church Penal Law. But as far as the Church is concerned, there is no murder more hideous than the deliberate killing of an unborn. That is why the Church imposes the biggest canonical penalty upon those responsible for abortion -- the murder of an unborn human person.
What is abortion punished by excommunication? It is the killing of a live, immature or non-viable human fetus from the mother’s womb – done knowingly, willingly and effectively. The said killing is done by different deadly interventions – such as suction, dilation, curettage or the use of prostaglandin drug. While intentionally unsaid, there are contraceptive pills that are abortive as well – in case actual conception takes place. While the murder of adults in censurable enough, the murder of an unborn is categorically a more heinous crime.
What is excommunication? In its immediate connotation, it is separation form the unity-community-communion enjoyed among the People of God the world over. The Church is known for continuous intercessory prayers of adoration and thanksgiving, repentance and petition going around globe from sun-up to sundown, all the days of the week, all the months of the year. Someone excommunicated is not only separated from all said intercessions but also from participating in liturgical worship of whatever kind as well as from the reception of any Sacrament.
Who are covered by the penalty of excommunication? Numerous individuals may be involved in procuring deliberate and effective abortion – in addition to the mother and father of the unborn. The relatives of the unborn who collaborated in the performance of the abortion. The abortionist and the purveyor of abortive means. The physician and the nurses who collaborated in the abortion. In other words, anybody and everybody who took an active part in the procurement of effective abortion.
How about those who deliberated upon, collaborated with one another and successfully passed a law with both contraceptive option as well as abortive possibilities? How about foreign and local manufacturers and sellers of products with such an anti-human nature and finality?