Pope Benedict Attacks Population Control Efforts Like UNFPA Backing Abortion

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 10, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pope Benedict Attacks Population Control Efforts Like UNFPA Backing Abortion

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
December 10
, 2008

The Vatican (LifeNews.com) — Pope Benedict XVI released his annual peace message on Thursday that touched on a number of political subjects but also went after population control campaigns. He criticized efforts that rely on abortion or try to use reducing the birth rate as a method of economic development.

The Catholic leader’s words come at a time when pro-life advocates are worried that incoming president Barack Obama will restore funding to the UNFPA and groups that promote and perform abortions in other countries.

In his 17-page message "Fighting Poverty to Build Peace," the pope attacked the population control campaigns that wrongly believe a higher population hurts the global economy — even as some nations are facing economic troubles because of severe underpopulation.

"There are international campaigns afoot to reduce birth rates, sometimes using methods that respect neither the dignity of the woman, nor the right of parents to choose responsibly how many children to have," he said.

"Graver still, these methods often fail to respect even the right to life. The extermination of millions of unborn children, in the name of the fight against poverty, actually constitutes the destruction of the poorest of all human beings," he added.

Despite research confirming the UNFPA’s participation in the China family planning program that prohibits families in the Asian nation from having more than one child, Obama’s campaign confirmed he would support funding the population control group.

President Bush has revoked funding for the UNFPA every year during his administration for violating a U.S. law prohibiting sending public funds to groups that promote forced abortions.

The Obama campaign, in an October 2007 response to a survey from the pro-abortion RH Reality Check web site, confirmed the presidential candidate would restore funding to the controversial group.

"Yes, Senator Obama would overturn the global gag rule and reinstate funding for UNFPA," Obama’s campaign responded.

The so-called global gag rule is a derogatory term abortion advocates use to refer to the Mexico City Policy, first instituted by President Reagan and restored by President Bush after President Clinton reversed the policy during his administration.

The policy prohibits forcing taxpayers to fund groups that perform abortions in other nations or "gags" them by prohibiting the funding of groups that lobby pro-life nations in places like South America or Africa that have pro-life laws on abortion to overturn them.

The pope’s call also comes at a time when nations ranging from Russia and Taiwan to Bulgaria and South Korea face underpopulation problems.

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