After Francis ‘handwritten letter posted on social media this week, the Holy See’s information portal confirmed Francis’ intervention on Friday.
Vatican News said Francis was responding to a group of women from the slums of Buenos Aires where he used to preach who have organized in recent years to oppose efforts to decriminalize abortion. In the letter, Francis thanked the women for their activism and encouraged them, saying “the country is proud to have women like you”.
President Alberto Fernandez announced earlier this month that he would introduce a bill to legalize abortion, saying it would save lives by preventing women from resorting to clandestine and dangerous procedures.
François’ home country currently criminalizes abortion, except in cases of rape or risk to the health of the mother. Fernandez campaigned on promises he would bring forward legislation to legalize it, but the coronavirus pandemic has delayed movement on the proposal until this month.
Francis strongly supported Catholic doctrine banning abortion, denouncing it as part of today’s “throwaway culture” that does not respect the dignity of the unborn, the weak or the old. He did, however, offer a merciful approach to women who have had abortion, allowing simple priests and not just bishops to absolve them if they ask for forgiveness.