Imagine husband and wife conceive but later find out that the child would be severely ill and disabled. The wife wants an abortion but the husband doesn't. The wife decides to abort. What sin does the husband commit in this case?

  • 2
    I see no sin of the husband in your description of the situation. There might be a sin if he didn't try reasonably hard to persuade his wife to let the child live, but you didn't say anything about that. (The meaning of "reasonably hard" depends on where they live and what the law wojld allow him to do to prevent the abortion.) Commented Apr 13 at 18:17
  • Are you asking if a husband is somehow complicit in the wife's sin of murder/abortion?
    – Geremia
    Commented Apr 13 at 22:06
  • @Geremia yes, pretty much
    – Anon
    Commented Apr 13 at 22:10
  • I don't know what the church has to say this, but personally I feel morally obligated to save my child's life even if it means I go to jail. That won't be a problem, however, because I would never get in a relationship with an antilife individual. Commented Apr 15 at 1:19

1 Answer 1


The husband doesn't sin in that situation, especially if he does all in his power to prevent the wife from killing their baby.

It's similar to the scenario if a wife, unbeknownst to the husband, takes contraceptive drugs in order to prevent conception. The husband does not sin in rendering the marital debt to said wife; he only materially cooperates in her sin. However, such wife sins, cooperating formally.


which discusses specific scenarios such as cooperation in abortion. This is important to know, because those participating in abortion (at least according to the 1917 Code of Canon Law canon 2350) incur a latæ sententiæ (automatic) excommunication (cf. 1983 Code of Canon Law can. 1398).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .