Timothy A. Byrnes, Mary C. Segers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


This chapter presents the groundwork for discussion of the Catholic Church’s role in the contemporary politics of abortion. It deals with a brief description of the Catholic Church’s teachings on abortion, and outlines the history of restrictive abortion legislation in the United States. The chapter describes the content of Roe v. Wade, the court’s 1973 decision effectively legalizing abortion, and also outlines the strategies adopted by forces seeking to have that decision negated. It examines the court’s ruling in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, and suggests some of the challenges and opportunities that ruling presented to the Catholic Church and the rest of the pro-life movement. Contemporary Catholic moral theology holds that abortion, as an example of unjustifiable killing, is always an intrinsic moral evil. The chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Catholic Church and the Politics of Abortion
Subtitle of host publicationA View from the States
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781000243215
ISBN (Print)081338415X, 9780367290542
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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    Byrnes, T. A., & Segers, M. C. (2019). Introduction. In The Catholic Church and the Politics of Abortion: A View from the States (pp. 1-13). Taylor and Francis.