Bsob wrote: but the fault here lies squarely on the doctor's shoulders.
and the church.
this really is one where the church holds some of the ball.
they've been playing the "a child is not an illness ever" line a lot.
This reminded me of something regarding this topic that has always struck me as odd.
Do aborted babies go to Heaven?
Suppose this is the case. It seems to me that, especially in the case where the child would be born into a Hindu family (setting aside the health issues for a moment and assuming a normal pregnancy), the probability of the child ending up Catholic and going to Heaven is fairly low. Most likely, this person will end up in Hell, according to their theology. However, if they are aborted, they go straight to Heaven. Hence, abortion is in fact preferable, since a person who is likely to go to Hell ends up in Heaven. Now, it may be a mortal sin to perform an abortion; however, mortal sins can be forgiven anyway, and if the patient or the doctor are also themselves not Catholic, then it doesn't matter because they're already going to Hell. Though frankly, even if the abortion doctor happened to be Catholic, I think the argument could be made that sending a large number of people straight to Heaven is worth the price for one person going to Hell. There's a lot of weird incentives that come into play when the rewards in the afterlife are infinitely greater than the rewards in this one.
If aborted babies go to Hell, then, at least, there's some consistency in this respect. Although, considering infant mortality rates and whatnot, one might argue that Catholics should be the world's most powerful advocates of contraception, since the risks associated with pregnancy are so high. Of course, there's the question of justice here: Is it really reasonable that a loving and caring God would send unborn children--through no fault of their own--to Hell? That's a pretty hard sell, though I've heard people making this claim before (not Catholics, necessarily). If there's some intermediate between the two (non-existence, say), then it depends exactly on exactly what value is placed on going to that place versus the risk of that person going to Hell if they live. One could conceivably argue, however, that even if the probability of someone going to Hell is fairly small when they're alive, the risk of being wrong is so high that you're probably better off aborting anyway. It's like Pascal's Wager in reverse.