Dear Pope Francis,
We are writing to express our disappointment at two recent pronouncements you made related to abortion, which seemed to contradict statements you had made earlier in your Papacy. . . .
We hope you realise how much your two statements, in June and October, shocked people. “Hitmen, taking out a life.” “Nazis, trying to cleanse the race.” Thus, calling all women not only murderers but also Nazis. . . . .
Embryos and fetuses are not equivalent to babies. An embryo is a group of cells, a fetus (if it grows for long enough) is a potential life. Abortions always happen long before it has the capacity to be sentient. And equally importantly, babies are not just cuddly bundles. Having children is the biggest responsibility there is in life. Abortion is a necessary part of girls’ and women’s lives because we understand what that means and know when we simply cannot take it on. The fact that women risk death to end a pregnancy should tell you just how much that means.
So let’s talk about murder and violence for a minute more. Countless thousands of avoidable deaths from unsafe abortion – which could disappear overnight – are a form of mass murder. Those deaths are comparable to what the Nazis did. And everyone who condemns women because they cannot take on the responsibility for every possible child of every possible pregnancy they might have over 40 years of fertility, is also a murderer. And remember – dead women cannot look after their existing children. . . .
And we have to ask again and again: why is the morbidity and mortality suffered by so many millions of women as a consequence of unwanted pregnancy and illegal abortion absolutely invisible to you and unacknowledged by you? Does it come from the same blindness that drives your refusal to end once and for all the unconscionable sexual abuse by priests in your Church? If so, we pray that your eyes are opened soon.
International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion
[Ed: Great letter – better read in its entirety]