Pope Francis during the press conference held in the plane on his way back from a six days visit to Cuba and Mexico addressed the issues of aborting babies and using contraceptives to control birth because of the Zika virus that causes birth defects. Just as physicians across Central and South American now urge women to postpone pregnancy.
The Pope was asked if the use of artificial contraceptives or abortion could be considered “a lesser evil” when the baby had a high risk of birth defects.
“Abortion is not a lesser evil – it’s a crime,” Pope Francis said. It is the deliberate taking of an innocent human life. “It’s an absolute evil.”
“Don’t confuse avoiding pregnancy with abortion,” the Pope said.
The concept of a “lesser evil” may apply to artificial birth control, however, he said, pointing to Blessed Paul VI’s consent in the early 1960s for women religious in the then-Belgian Congo to take the pill when rape was being used as a weapon of war.
Unlike abortion, he said, “avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one and such as the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear.”
The Catholic Church opposes artificial birth control methods but encourages the natural family planning schemes of spacing birth-rate.
Just recently, the health officials have urged women to postpone their pregnancies for two years, because the Zika virus has been linked to microcephaly, a rare neurological condition that causes smaller heads in newborns, affecting the normal development of their brain.
The Holy Father pleads with scientists to try their best towards finding a way of discovering means to get rid of the mosquitoes that carries this deadly virus.