Absolutely No Exceptions

One of my favorite pro-life shirts is the one that says, "100% Pro-life, Without Exception, Without Compromise, Without Apology."

That's exactly the stand each of us is called to take; in fact, it is the only pro-life stance. Abortion is an intrinsic evil. It is evil by its very nature, and that evil is not altered by circumstances. To put it another way, if one lived for a million years — or forever — and did nothing but try to imagine circumstances that could justify a single abortion, one could never imagine one. It simply does not exist.

Every abortion, no matter what the circumstances, contradicts the law of God.

The circumstances in which a child is conceived — whether in love or by rape — can never make an abortion morally permissible. The circumstances in which the pregnancy advances — whether with sickness or health — can never justify the direct killing of a child. Every child, starting at the single cell stage, is a human person. The children conceived in rape and incest must have equal protection. The children of mothers with medically complicated pregnancies must have equal protection. Our duty to these children is absolute, and admits of no exceptions. To say that an abortion might sometimes be permissible is like saying an act of terrorism, of child abuse, of rape, or of Satanism is sometimes permissible.

There is no Court, King, Governor, President, Parliament, or Prince anywhere on earth or any time in history who can issue any decision, decree or declaration that would justify even a single abortion. When human lawmakers attempt to do so, the "law" that results is not simply a bad law; it is, in fact, no law at all, and carries neither authentic juridical validity nor any obligation to obey it.

 But why, then, don't we stop all abortions today? What are we waiting for? Obviously there are limits to what we can do. Every abortion is wrong. But as I dissuade one woman from doing it, many other women don't hear me. As I speak to one group, there are countless groups not hearing me. And even if I blockade the door to an abortion clinic, what about all the other clinics that are operating at the same time? Lawmakers are not the only ones who face limits in how many babies they can protect today. We all do.

Yet while we acknowledge practical limitations, we can never limit the principle, nor lose sight of the goal. No abortion is permissible, and every child must be protected.

Nor is it permissible for each state to decide on its own whether or not to protect the lives of the unborn. That makes no more sense than letting each state decide on whether to protect the lives of the born!

Life can be confusing, and the temptation to compromise with evil can be great. But the teaching about abortion is as clear and direct as it can be, and is best summed up with one word: never.

Fr. Frank Pavone


Father Frank A. Pavone is an American Roman Catholic priest and pro-life activist. He is the National Director of Priests for Life and serves as the Chairman and Pastoral Director of Rachel's Vineyard.

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  • Guest

    One of the big problems is to get people involved.  We can't even get enough committed pro-lifers to staff our fair booth this year.  They are all "to busy".  How sad.


  • Guest

    Kent C. Bois

    Thank you Fr. Pavone. We all need encouragement to stand fast and to think clearly. Your words do that for me.

    God Bless You

  • Guest

    Absolutely. How bizarre that protecting all human life is 'radical' and 'extremist'!

    I tell everyone that "I vote on the life and death issues. Everything else is just about money."

    Thank you for doing God's work.

  • Guest

    Thank you Father Pavone.  I watch your program on EWTN and applaud you for your continued champion of the Unborn.  We all need to vote our conscious, especially in the upcoming elections.  Vote for Life!  Pray for all to have the grace to continue to stand fast.  God Bless You!

  • Guest

    I can only accept a pro-life position like this: no killing, born or unbordn, no exceptions. That includes, of course, captial punishment, any kind of revenge or "honor" killing, all kinds of let's-teach-them – a-lesson or those-bastards-don't deserve-to-live killing, and definitely includes war except for absolute self defence according to the just war doctrine and other internationally approved standards.

    Any other position, such as protecting only the "innocent", is pure hypocricy and I will never support it.