Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  420 / 665 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 420 / 665 Next Page
Page Background

392 • Part III. Christian Morality: The Faith Lived

standing for those who are facing difficult decisions, and her assistance

for all who choose life. People who have been involved with an abortion

are encouraged to get in touch with the Project Rachel ministry and other

ministries that enable them to seek the mercy of God in the Sacrament

of Penance and Reconciliation and to obtain the necessary counseling.

Pro-life ministries work with expectant mothers who are considering

abortion by encouraging them to choose life for their children. They also

provide alternatives to abortion through prenatal care, assistance in rais-

ing children, and adoption placement services.

In Vitro



in vitro

fertilization is more appropriately treated in relation to

the integrity of the link between fertility and love, it deserves brief men-

tion here. This is because very often in the process, eggs that have been

fertilized and are beginning to grow as a human person are discarded or

destroyed. This action is the taking of human life and is gravely sinful.

Stem-Cell Research and Cloning

Every human body contains stem cells, undifferentiated cells that have

the potential to mature into a wide variety of body cells. They develop

early in the human embryo after fertilization or conception. They are

also found in the placenta, the umbilical cord, as well as in the adult

brain, bone marrow, blood, skeletal muscle, and skin. Scientists theorize

that these stem cells may be used for therapeutic purposes for curing

diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

Some scientists, however, maintain that the best source for stem cells

is the human embryo. The moral problem is that in order to retrieve the

stem cells, the growing child must be killed. But every embryo from the

moment of conception has the entire genetic makeup of a unique human

life. The growing child must be recognized and treated as completely

and fully human. He or she needs only time to grow and develop. To

destroy an embryo is to take a human life, an act contrary to God’s law

and Church teaching.