EWTN Catholic Q&A
Abortion of a down syndrome baby
Question from Anne Marie Pepitone on 09-26-2012:

A friend shared that her daughter may be carrying a down syndrome baby who is 4 mos. Test results are yet to be confirmed. She knows her daughter won't be able to handle it and she feels she should abort. Her response was "Christ forgives everything"..How do I respond to her with this train of thought that she has? She knows that the fetus is not just a "fetus" but a child of God but still feels if abortion is confessed she will be forgiven.

Answer by Judie Brown on 09-28-2012:

Dear Ann Marie

We can think of it this way: Quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #1450 "Penance requires . . . the sinner to endure all things willingly, be contrite of heart, confess with the lips, and practice complete humility and fruitful satisfaction."

But if a penitent knowingly advocates for or supports the act of abortion which intentionally kills someone else, and then enters the confessional, it would appear that his confession is insincere and even an act of hypocrisy ... an insult to God.

One many never presume that God will forgive those grievous sins that are committed because presumption is itself a sin. Here is the pertinent quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2091 The first commandment is also concerned with sins against hope, namely, despair and presumption:

By despair, man ceases to hope for his personal salvation from God, for help in attaining it or for the forgiveness of his sins. Despair is contrary to God's goodness, to his justice - for the Lord is faithful to his promises - and to his mercy.

2092 There are two kinds of presumption. Either man presumes upon his own capacities, (hoping to be able to save himself without help from on high), or he presumes upon God's almighty power or his mercy (hoping to obtain his forgiveness without conversion and glory without merit).