Abortion

St Basil

  • The woman who purposely destroys her unborn child is guilty of murder. With us there is no nice enquiry as to its being formed or unformed. In this case it is not only the being about to be born who is vindicated, but the woman in her attack upon herself; because in most cases woman who make such attempts die. The destruction of the embryo is an additional crime, a second murder, at all events if we regard it as done with intent. The punishment, however, of these women should not be for life, but for the term of ten years. And let their treatment depend not on mere lapse of time, but on the character of their repentance. (Letter 188)

St Gregory of Nyssa

  • for every one can see for himself that not one among all the things that are inanimate or soulless possesses any power of motion or of growth; whereas there is no question about that which is bred in the uterus both growing and moving from place to place. It remains therefore that we must think that the point of commencement of existence is one and the same for body and soul. Also we affirm that, just as the earth receives the sapling from the hands of the husbandman and makes a tree of it, without itself imparting the power of growth to its nursling, but only lending it, when placed within itself, the impulse to grow, in this very same way that which is secreted from a man for the planting of a man is itself to a certain extent a living being as much gifted with a soul and as capable of nourishing itself as that from which it comes. (On the soul and resurrection)