The Peruvian Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani, archbishop of Lima, has blasted the United Nations for encouraging Latin American governments affected by the Zika virus to allow abortion, comparing the organization to a modern-day King Herod, who ordered the slaughter of babies at the time of Jesus’ birth.
The outspoken cardinal recalled that when Herod heard of the birth of the Messiah “since he didn’t know what to do and was an animal he said ‘let’s kill all the boys under two years of age,’ so they killed all the boys in and around Bethlehem.”
“Today we are surrounded by Herods, but Herods with neckties, public posts and budgets,” he lamented, pointing out that “the United Nations, in the face of this Zika mosquito virus, has decreed that we should approve abortion everywhere so as to kill the children.”
The cardinal was responding to a recent UN appeal that Latin American countries give women access to abortions because of possible ties between the ongoing Zika virus outbreak in the region and the higher-than-normal incidence of microcephaly in Brazilian babies.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer … the possibility to end their pregnancies?” asked UN Human Rights office spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein was similarly forceful in calling for a relaxation of abortion laws.
“The laws and policies that restrict access to these services should be urgently reviewed in accordance with human rights, in order to ensure, in practice, the right to health for all,” he said.
In his weekly radio program, the Peruvian cardinal was having none of it, saying, “I cannot keep quiet” in the face of abortion activists pushing for these policies.
“There is a Herod,” he repeated, “who thinks it’s a good idea to decree an execution: let all pregnant women abort their babies because of a risk that hasn’t even been conclusively shown. But in case of doubt, kill them all,” he said.
The cardinal said that when something as sacred as human life has been devalued, it is no surprise that “corruption, insult and assassination” follow.
Recently the Ministry of Health of El Salvador, one of the countries most affected by the Zika epidemic, reported that 13 women infected with the Zika virus had given birth to perfectly healthy babies with no trace of microcephaly.
The Washington Post has also noted that Colombia has 3,177 pregnant women who suffered from Zika infections, yet there was not a single reported case of microcephaly.
Recent reports suggest that alleged connections between the Zika virus and microcephaly in Brazilian babies may be due more to hype and hysteria than serious science.
Only 4% of the 404 cases of microcephaly in Brazil coincided with Zika infections, meaning that there must be another cause or causes to explain the higher incidence of children born with microcephaly in the country.
The tenuous ties between Zika and microcephaly have not stopped abortion activists like Planned Parenthood from trying to exploit the crisis to push Latin American governments to remove all restrictions on abortion.
“It’s amazing how fast they have acted, not decreeing a campaign, economic aid or an investigation,” Cardinal Cipriani said in his broadcast, “but rather that all Latin American countries allow abortion to combat this danger,” he said.
“We really have to be sick at heart to do such a thing,” he added.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.