Pope Francis has said that Roman Catholic priests can begin pardoning women who've had abortions and doctors who have performed the procedure starting in 2016, changing long-standing Catholic practice. The Vatican insisted, however, that it continues to look at abortion as a sin.
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation, announced Francis' decision earlier this week, and said: "The missionaries of mercy are priests sent out by the Holy Father at the beginning of Lent. The Pope is sending them out [to dioceses and parishes] as a tangible sign of how a priest should be a man of pardon, close to everyone ..."
The Irish Times pointed out that Catholic tradition only allows bishops or the pope himself to absolve women of having an abortion, which is a sin that leads to excommunication from the Church. more >>
Representatives of eight pro-life organizations based in Washington, D.C. signed a joint statement saying they will not comply with a new law passed by the City Council that would prevent them from making hiring and firing decisions based upon an employee's position on abortion.
"Despite the enactment of this unjust law, we will continue to hire employees who share our commitment to the dignity of every member of the human family. We will not abandon the purpose of our organizations in order to comply with this illegal and unjust law. We will vigorously resist any effort under RHNDA to violate our constitutionally protected fundamental rights," the Monday statement says, in part.
RHNDA is a reference to the "Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act," which went into effect in the District of Columbia this week. It states that employers in the capital city cannot take opinions about abortion or an employee's decision to have an abortion into account for hiring and firing. more >>
Influential conservative Christian writer and radio personality Dr. James Dobson has declared that if the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down gay marriage laws, it will have created a new Roe v. Wade.
In the May newsletter for Family Talk, Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, wrote that if "marriage is to be reconfigured in the law, which court-watchers predict is almost certain, every dimension of the culture will be adversely affected."
"It will be one of the most momentous rulings in U.S. history, tantamount to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. As we know, that terrible ruling 42 years ago divided the nation irreparably and has resulted in the deaths of 58 million babies," said Dobson. more >>
Amnesty International claims Paraguay's abortion laws are too restrictive and "tantamount to torture" after a woman was denied an abortion for her 10-year-old daughter who was reportedly raped by her stepfather.
The mother, whose daughter showed up at a hospital six months pregnant complaining of stomach pains, is being charged as an accomplice in her daughter's rape. more >>
I was 23 when I found out I was pregnant. I was on drugs. I was sick, my stomach was giving out; I didn't know what was going on till I knew the little one was in there.
It was scary. When they told me at the hospital I was pregnant, I was like, "No, I'm not, you gotta take that test over again." I went into the waiting room and was like, this cannot be happening.
It took me back to when I was first pregnant. I had no backbone, nowhere to go. As a 15 year-old, I thought: My daddy's sure gonna kill the father, and if they don't kill me they sure may slap me and injure the baby. more >>
Pointing to celebrities who have come forward about their abortions, such as Jemima Kirk, from HBO's "Girls," Richards makes a sort of plea:
In the current political environment and with so much shaming in popular culture, women get the message early and often that, while they may have the legal right to get an abortion, there's still something wrong with that choice. more >>