Pope Francis Urges Civil Authorities to Combat Abortion in Speech to U.N.

Pope Francis leads a prayer in Saint Peter's basilica in the Vatican, as part of the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, on September 1, 2015. Pope Francis on September 1 called on priests to pardon women who have abortions, and the doctors who perform them, during …
ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images

ROME — Pope Francis denounced the nations and international groups that promote abortion, telling the U.N. General Assembly Friday that the “unborn child” must be protected.

“Sad to say, some countries and international institutions are also promoting abortion as one of the so-called ‘essential services’ provided in the humanitarian response to the pandemic,” the pope said in a video-streamed message delivered from the Vatican.

“It is troubling to see how simple and convenient it has become for some to deny the existence of a human life as a solution to problems that can and must be solved for both the mother and her unborn child,” he added.

“I urge civil authorities to be especially attentive to children who are denied their fundamental rights and dignity, particularly their right to life and to schooling,” Francis insisted.

The United Nations itself has been one of the “international institutions” that promotes abortion worldwide, especially through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

“The Chinese government is not the only one culpable in these heinous crimes against women and children,” noted U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) during a 2015 hearing. “The UN Population Fund helped fund birth restrictions, fund forced abortions, and a massive and coercive family planning bureaucracy.”

“The UNFPA whitewashed China’s crimes for decades and continues to do so today,” the congressman continued, observing that UNFPA “justifies its history in China, saying it was ‘tasked by the Executive Committee’ to help China and had to ‘engage with China as a sovereign nation.’”

That same year, the United Nations chastised Poland for its restrictive abortion laws, demanding that it make abortion more accessible.

A document drafted by the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child called on Poland to “make the conditions for abortion less restrictive and, in relation to adolescent girls, to reflect the right of the child to express her views and the best interests of the child.”

The U.N. text also demanded that Poland “establish clear standards for a uniform and non-restrictive interpretation of the conditions for legal abortion and relevant procedures”.

As he has done on other occasions, the pontiff tied attacks on human life Friday to the reign of a “throwaway culture” in which the dignity of the person is easily trampled.

“At the origin of this ‘throwaway culture’ is a gross lack of respect for human dignity, the promotion of ideologies with reductive understandings of the human person, a denial of the universality of fundamental human rights, and a craving for absolute power and control that is widespread in today’s society,” the pope declared.

“Let us name this for what it is: an attack against humanity itself,” he said.

In his address, the pope also denounced the “ideological colonization” that threatens the basic family unit.

“The first teachers of every child are his or her mother and father,” Francis said, and the family is the “natural and fundamental group unit of society.”

“All too often, the family is the victim of forms of ideological colonialism that weaken it and end up producing in many of its members, especially the most vulnerable, the young and the elderly, a feeling of being orphaned and lacking roots,” he said.

“The breakdown of the family is reflected in the social fragmentation that hinders our efforts to confront common enemies,” he added. “It is time that we reassess and recommit ourselves to achieving our goals.”

The pope went on to speak of other violations of human rights, including a worrisome trend of growing Christian persecution in the world.

It is “painful to see the number of fundamental human rights that in our day continue to be violated with impunity,” Francis said. “The list of such violations is indeed lengthy, and offers us a frightening picture of a humanity abused, wounded, deprived of dignity, freedom and hope for the future.”

“As part of this picture, religious believers continue to endure every kind of persecution, including genocide, because of their beliefs,” he added. “We Christians too are victims of this: how many of our brothers and sisters throughout the world are suffering, forced at times to flee from their ancestral lands, cut off from their rich history and culture.”

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