Pope Francis has caused anger after he compared abortion to the the profession of an assassin, after Argentina looks set to offer free and legal procedures for its people.
The pope, who is Argentinian by birth, was a bishop in Buenos Aires before taking on the top role at the Vatican.
In a letter he sent to anti-abortion protesters in his home country, the 83-year-old offered his support to the women protesting a person’s right to choose, saying that ‘the country is proud to have women like you,’ as he compared abortion itself to ‘hiring a killer to solve a problem’.
In a hand-written letter, dated November 22, Francis said: ‘The problem of abortion is not primarily a question of religion, but of human ethics, first and foremost of any religious denomination.’
‘It is good to ask two questions’, he claimed. ‘Is it fair to eliminate a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a killer to solve a problem?’, he further wrote, according to the MailOnline.
Argentina’s president, Alberto Fernandez, is hoping to make abortions legal, free, and easily accessible for women across the entire country, in an attempt to hear the voices and needs of women’s health. However, many religious groups have strongly opposed the idea, looking to prevent people from making their own life-changing decisions.
The women, who live in the shanty towns of Buenos Aires and claim their voices are being ignored, wrote to Francis on November 18 for help, telling him how they first rallied in 2018 when the debate about legalising abortion was about to be debated in parliament. Nothing came to pass back then other than to permit terminations in the cases of rape or certain health reasons. But now, in 2020, the country’s president has presented a new bill to end abortions being criminalised and to rid the judgemental stigma of having one.
It’s hardly a surprise that the head of the Catholic church opposes abortion but to share such damning public messages is damaging to the 21st century fight for women to be able to choose what they do with their bodies. In the past he’s described it as part of today’s ‘throwaway culture’ and insists the unborn have rights we cannot take away.
In an awkward attempt at a middle-ground, Francis has extended an olive branch to anyone who has had an abortion, by now allowing priests, as well as bishops, to absolve them of their perceived sin, in the search for religious forgiveness.
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