Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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I am teaching a lesson to our High School students this Sunday on abortion. I looked on the SUSCOPTS website and have not had much luck. I was wondering if there is a recorded lecture somewhere or if there are other resources on that topic to direct me to.

The Coptic Orthodox Church considers abortion an act of murder. From conception to birth, the Holy Scripture never refers to the unborn child as a "fetus" or "embryo" but as "child" or a "son". Although they are not mentioned in the Holy Scriptures, the tradition and/or the Synexarium tell us about many saints who were acknowledged or foretold while still in the womb or even before conception. St. Mary, the blessed Virgin, is amongst the many saints recognized before her birth. Psalm 139 praises God for the intricate detail and foreknowledge of man even before his formation and at the time of conception.

The following important figures were mentioned in the Holy Scriptures prior to their birth.

  • Our Lord Jesus Christ
  • Isaac - Genesis
  • Samson - Judges
  • Samuel - 1 Samuel
  • Jeremiah - Jeremiah  
  • John the Baptist - Luke
  • St. Paul - Galatians  

When God created the world, He ordered it, and so it was. However, when He created Adam and when He created Eve, He made them with His own hands and with His own breath; He gave them life (Genesis 2).

Thus, the church values life as sanctified and sacred. Unlike other churches, philosophers, and even politicians, we are not engaged in the debate over the gestational period in which the unborn child can be called a child. It is, without any doubt, instantly at the time of conception. Even in cases when the mother's health is at risk, such as when Rachel gave birth to Benjamin (Genesis), or the child is conceived out of wedlock, such as David's first child before Solomon, the life of the unborn child is just as valuable as the life of the child born at the usual gestational period.

Strictly in rare cases when it is confirmed that the mother is in danger of death, the Church may allow abortion.

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