Mortal Sin Against the Fifth Commandment – Sterilization
The Fifth Commandment: “You Shall Not Kill”
Sterilization is the act in which a man or a woman intentionally go through either a physical or chemical surgery that renders themselves incapable of reproducing. It is essentially the same as if you were to neuter your male pet or spay your female pet.
There are several different methods in which poor souls can sterilize themselves:
Vasectomy (male): When the tubes that carry the sperm are severed. Can be reversed, but is not guaranteed to be successful.
Tubal ligation (female): Similar to above. The tubes are tied so that an egg can not drop and sperm can not get to the egg. Reversal is more successful.
Hysteroscopic sterilization (female): Permanent sterilization. No reversal.
Hysterectomy (female): Removal of the uterus and potentially the womb. This is permanent. There are exceptions to this procedure.
Intentionally sterilizing yourself or forcing another individual to sterilize themselves is a mortal sin because you are killing a part of your body. You are murdering a perfectly healthy aspect as reproduction is the normal and healthy aspect of being a person.
Men are always able to reproduce, and women over time will not be able to reproduce after they go through menopause. This is natural. It is the way God created it.
Sterilization removes God from the picture of how your body is going to reproduce. You are saying that you know when you are going to create another person. Since most of sterilizations are permanent, much like murder, you murder your body and lose the most basic aspect of advancing the human race. It also goes directly against God’s commandment in Genesis:
And God blessed them, saying:Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth. Genesis 1:28
When He said this to Adam and Eve, remember they were married and this was not a commandment to go and sleep with whoever you want. Sex is for marriage. We will go over this in the 6th Commandment.
The healthy, natural, and normal aspect of your reproduction system, despite what society and the culture tell us, is to be able to reproduce. Intentionally destroying this for selfish reasons as not wanting more children is an insult and a blasphemy to God. Similarly to the Original Sin, you become your own god.
In some instances, getting a hysterectomy is not a mortal sin. For example, if a woman develops uterine cancer and she must get a hysterectomy lest she die. This is not a mortal sin as the intention is to save the life of the woman, not to destroy her reproduction cycle. The intention must be to save the life of the patient in any surgery in which sterilization becomes an unavoidable side effect. If the purpose is to intentionally sterilize the patient, it is a mortal sin.
If you have undergone a sterilization procedure for the reason of being sterile, you need to go to confession as soon as possible. You should also attempt to reverse the procedure if you can. Remember also that this post isn’t to condemn, but to lovingly point out error so that you can return to the state of grace and be received into God’s Kingdom.