I heard that in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life) Pope John Paul II condemned "direct abortion."? What is direct abortion?
Let's look at what the pope said: "[B]y the authority which Christ conferred upon Peter and his Successors, in communion with the Bishops . . . I declare that direct abortion, that is, abortion willed as an end or as a means, always constitutes a grave moral disorder, since it is the deliberate killing of an innocent human being" (Evangelium Vitae 62). The Pope defines direct abortion as "abortion willed as an end or as a means." Abortion is willed as an end (that is, as a goal) if one's goal is to end the pregnancy. Abortion is willed as a means if ending the pregnancy is the instrument one uses to obtain some other goal. Abortion would be used as a means if, for example, the child was killed in order to harvest its body for medical consumption, such as organ transplants or tissue research.
Whenever a child is actively killed, even as a means to protecting the mother’s life, that constitutes direct abortion.