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Is abortion a religious issue? Here’s why Pope Francis says it’s not

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Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 01/13/21

Even atheists have to address abortion in their conscience, says Pope

The problem of abortion “is not religious but (…) human” because the embryo “is a human life,” Pope Francis pointed out in an interview with Italian channel Canale 5, broadcast on January 10, 2021. “Is it right to cancel a human life in order to solve a problem?” he asked forcefully as his native country, Argentina, recently legalized abortion.

In today’s society, “people who are not useful are thrown away,” the pontiff lamented. And so, “children are rejected, either because they are not wanted or because they are ‘returned to the sender’ when they are found to be sick (…): Before birth, their life is erased,” he continued.

The pope particularly spoke out against those who try to make abortion a religious issue: “The problem of abortion is not a religious problem, beware: It is a human, pre-religious problem, it is a problem of human ethics, (…) a problem that even an atheist must resolve in his soul and conscience.”

To the question: “Do I have the right to do this?” the pontiff answered with a scientific explanation: By “the third week [of pregnancy], almost the fourth, all the organs of the new human being exist in the womb; it is a human life. I ask the following question: Is it right to cancel a human life to solve a problem, any problem? No, it is not right. Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem?”

These words of the pope come shortly after the Argentinean Senate voted in favor of legalizing abortion on December 30, 2020. In the pontiff’s home country, women can now terminate their pregnancy up to the 14th week. Previously, according to a law dating back to 1921, abortion was only allowed in that country in cases of rape or danger to the mother’s life.

The throwaway culture leads to hastening death

Pope Francis also had a word for people at the end of their lives, as the throwaway culture, he warned, pushes society to “throw out the sick or hasten death when the  patient is in a terminal phase.”

Lastly, the Bishop of Rome referred to the rejection of migrants who are also victims of this mentality: “On our conscience weigh those who have drowned in the Mediterranean.”

Tags:
AbortionPope Francis
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