Pope Benedict XVI delivered a message on abortion to pro-life leaders during his meeting with members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which has spent the last three days examining post-abortion problems for women and stem cell research.
About doctors, the leader of the Catholic Church said, “Doctors are called to show particular fortitude in continuing to affirm that abortion resolves nothing; rather it kills the child, destroys the woman and blinds the conscience of the child’s father, often devastating family life.”
He said women are wrongly told “that abortion is not only a morally correct solution, but an obligatory ‘therapeutic’ act in order to spare the child and its family suffering” and avoid becoming an “unjust” burden to society.
He said physicians should not propose abortion as a solution to family, economic, and social problems because abortion “does not solve anything” and causes further problems for women and children. He urged them to work for “more appropriate responses for the good of humanity.”
Benedict, in his Saturday remarks at the 27th General Assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life, also said men should not abandon women at their time of need during a pregnancy.
“It would also be helpful to focus attention on the sometimes-clouded conscience of the children’s fathers, who often abandon pregnant women,” he said.
He also condemned those men who pressure women to have abortions, saying women who have abortions suffer a “deep wound” that results in serious psychological and spiritual problems resulting from the abortion.
“The issue of post-abortion syndrome — namely the severe psychological problems commonly experienced by women who have had an abortion voluntary — reveals the irrepressible voice of moral conscience and the terrible wound it suffers each time a human action betrays the human being’s innate vocation to good,” he said.
“Through moral conscience God speaks to each of us, inviting us to defend human life at all times, and in this personal bond with the Creator lies the profound dignity of moral conscience and the reason for its inviolability,” he said. “It is necessary that society as a whole must defend the conceived child’s right to life and the true good of the woman who can never, in any circumstances, find fulfillment in the decision to abort.”
The Catholic News Service indicates Bishop Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, who became the president of the academy in June 2010, led the weekend conference.
CNS also indicated Pope Benedict addressed stem cell research and promoted the use of umbilical cord blood to extract stem cells for use in medical research and therapy. But he “warned against the proliferation of umbilical cord blood banks where families store their children’s cord blood for their personal use rather than donating it so it can be available for general access,” CNS indicated, saying the process “weakens the genuine spirit of solidarity that should constantly accompany research for the common good.”