Praying for Aborted Babies

 One of the most common questions I receive is, "What happens to aborted babies? Do they go to heaven? Should we pray for them?"

Pope John Paul II, in The Gospel of Life, speaks directly to those who have had abortions, and tells them, "To the same Father and to his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child" (n. 99).

The child, in other words, continues to live, and the mother continues to care for that child by "entrusting" him or her to the Father. God takes care of the children He has created, including those who have been killed. Therefore, we entrust these children to Him "with sure hope."

This "hope" means that we acknowledge that God wants everyone to be saved. He saves different people in different ways. The ordinary way of salvation is through the sacrament of Baptism, which gives us the new life that is necessary for reaching heaven. If a person, however, is prevented, through no fault of his own, from receiving the sacrament, that does not mean that God cannot give them that new life by different means. How, precisely, He does this, we do not know. He has not given us the answer to every question. But He has assured us — and in fact He commands us — that we are to trust in His mercy, and entrust each other, including aborted children, to His mercy.

The International Theological Commission, which is an advisory panel to the Vatican, issued a document in April of 2007 entitled "The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized," and Pope Benedict XVI authorized its publication. This document emphasized the "grounds for hope that unbaptized infants who die will be saved and enjoy the beatific vision." The document recalled Christ's special love for "the little ones," and acknowledged that the question of what happens to unbaptized infants is intensified in an age when so many die from abortion. In fact, the document pointed out the solidarity with Christ among infant victims of violence, born and unborn, who like the holy innocents killed by King Herod are endangered by the "fear or selfishness of others."

Having made these points, however, the document adds, "We emphasize that these are reasons for prayerful hope, rather than grounds for sure knowledge."

So then, we should hope and pray.

The month of November, dedicated to all the faithful departed, is an excellent time to intensify our prayers for all children who have been aborted. In fact, just as we request a Mass to be offered for a deceased relative by name, we can likewise request a Mass to be offered when that deceased relative is a child killed by abortion. Many of these children have been given names, and their names can be given when the Mass is requested, without having to say that they died from abortion.

"Lord, give eternal rest to all aborted children, and grant that they may run and play in the playgrounds of heaven."

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

    A beautiful, holy friend of mine is deeply grieved by the treatment of babies killed through abortion.

    Does anybody know of organizations whose mission is to give a Christian Burial to the tiniest among us?  I've done a modicum of research and come up with nothing.

    Thank you. 

  • Guest


    I found this, also by Fr Frank Pavone. He provides a link to contact Priests for Life with any inquiries.

    Remember, the Sun is always shining!

  • Guest

    This has been a question long asked by the Church and it's wonderful to hear of 'prayerful hope'.  This applies to all unborn children; including miscarriages.

    Lord God, bless all children who never know this world; may they instead spend eternity with you.  Please baptize them with your grace that they may see your face.

  • Guest

    Try Rachel's Vineyard. Go to and click on the link in the list of links below the articles. This appears to be a good program. I haven't had the opportunity to take advantage of it in my area but you may be luckier than me. May you always be blessed by the goodness of God, Sherri