Pope Francis mourned the devaluation of women and motherhood Wednesday while calling coerced abortions an offense against God.
In his New Year’s Day homily at St. Peter’s Basilica, the AP reports the pope urged society to treat women with dignity to bring about a “better world.”
“Many times women’s bodies are sacrificed on the profane altar of advertisements, of profit, of pornography,” he said.
“Women are sources of life. Yet they are continually offended, beaten, raped, coaxed into prostitution and to kill the life that occurs in their womb. Any violence inflicted on women is a profanation of God, born of a woman,” Pope Francis continued.
According to the National Catholic Register, the pope mourned how modern society denigrates motherhood, rather than celebrating it as a gift. He said women are given the “generation and custody of life” – the “purpose of creation itself.”
Here’s more from the report:
Pope Francis said that our level of humanity can be judged by how we treat a woman’s body, “the most noble flesh in the world” and “the culmination of creation.” …
“When women can transmit their gifts, the world finds itself more united and more peaceful. Therefore, an achievement for women is an achievement for all humanity,” Pope Francis said.
The Catholic Church teaches that every human life is valuable from the moment of conception to natural death. Forced and coerced abortions are an especially horrible evil because they devalue two lives, not just one.
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They also are more common than people may think. As LifeNews previously reported, one study found that as many as 64 percent of post-abortive women say they felt pressured to have an abortion. Studies of victims of sex trafficking also indicate they often are pressured or forced to abort their unborn babies so they can continue working.
Several studies also have linked domestic violence to abortion. In these cases, some women were forced or pressured by partners into having abortions, while others believed having an abortion would help them escape abuse. A 2011 study in “Obstetrician and Gynaecologist” found that almost 40 percent of the women seeking abortions had a history of physical abuse and relationship issues.