In 2016, women who’ve had abortions and doctors that have performed them will be able to receive pardons from Pope Francis. In fact, the pontiff is sending “missionaries of mercy” all over the world to forgive and offer reconciliation to those hurting from abortion.
At a press conference, Rino Fisichella from Jubilee Year Monsignor said the Pope meant the gesture ‘”as a concrete sign that a priest must be a man of mercy and close to all.” However, a post-abortive woman wrote an article in Cosmopolitan magazine titled, I Don’t Need Forgiveness for My Abortion,” explaining that she doesn’t need forgiveness for her abortion and indicated that the Pope’s gesture stigmatizes abortion.
“…Though the media may portray Francis as a gentler patriarch, his language reinforces the stigmatizing stereotype that all women who have abortions are deeply scarred, spiritually damaged, and wallowing in our existential grief. ‘The tragedy of abortion is experienced by some with a superficial awareness, as if not realizing the extreme harm that such an act entails,’ the pontiff wrote.
I could tell Francis many things to disprove his belief: That I weighed the moral consequences. That I thought about whether or not my fetus had a soul. That I prayed to the Blessed Mother. That I still made an appointment with Planned Parenthood. That if only he asked us Catholic girls first, some of us would have told him we don’t need forgiveness.
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Catholic women who’ve had abortions are used to being talked about, but rarely are we heard. We are the straw-women, the parables, the bad girls. We are talked about on Catholic blogs and in Sunday homilies, our decisions dissected and moralized by strangers. Even Francis used us as his anecdotal prop, mentioning in his letter the anonymous women who have abortions possessing “the scar of this agonizing and painful decision.”
It seems like Barbato is ignoring a few facts about Catholics and post-abortive women. For starters, the Catholic Church does not support abortion; they never have and it is likely they never will. In 2013, Pope Francis reiterated the Catholic Church’s pro-life stance and promised that they will never compromise on their opposition against abortion.
He said, “I want to be completely honest in this regard. This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernizations’. It is not “progressive” to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life.” Although it’s no surprise that Barbato clung to pro-abortion rhetoric throughout her entire article, it is surprising that she seems to completely forget that her religion considers abortion a grave sin, regardless of if she thinks she needs forgiveness.
To quote from the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable. Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law… Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life. A person who procures a completed abortion incurs excommunication latae sententiae, ‘by the very commission of the offense.”
Additionally, Barbato is incorrect to say that Pope Francis is stigmatizing abortion by sharing that it hurts women— that is also a fact. As LifeNews previously reported, after abortion over 65% of women suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and post abortive women are six-times more likely to commit suicide than women who have given birth. Also, many women describe their abortion experience as ‘a nightmare,’ with 60% reporting that it felt like ’Part of me died.’