When the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade in 1973, it noted that man's knowledge was not yet capable of determining when life begins. Medical technology has now firmly established that the life of a human person begins at the moment of conception.
"The inalienable right to life of every innocent human
individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its
The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person...
The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined... As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child's rights." 1,2
1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church
2. CDF, Donum vitae III