While Pope Francis’ comments last week on abortion, contraception, and homosexuality are an important (and long overdue) first step for the Vatican, it’s hardly time for advocates of gender, reproductive, and sexual justice to rest on their laurels.
It is simply unjust that one religion is allowed to act as a state, and use that power to block rights rather than protect them.
Pope Francis said he objects to “laboratories” where out-of-touch people in power develop solutions to problems they don’t understand. Yet it seems those efforts don’t include a willingness to try and understand actual women’s lives.
In a wide-ranging interview, Pope Francis said the Roman Catholic Church spends too much time talking about abortion, contraception, and homosexuality and suggested that these might not be the most important aspects of church doctrine.
Victims and witnesses to reproductive coercion, intimidation, and bullying must try to speak up, seek help, or intervene as the situation requires. When it comes to public and political behavior, calling reproductive coercion what it is the first step to ending it.
The only reasonable explanation for the public stand-off is that Beatriz and other resource-poor women are politically expendable, and that crossing the Catholic Church is seen as worse than being hung out in the press as inhumane.
International human rights bodies are urging the government of El Salvador to act to save Beatriz. Please add your voice.
A 22-year-old Salvadoran woman with severe chronic medical conditions is pregnant with a fetus without a brain. But a 1998 law in El Salvador prohibits all abortions, without exception.
And loathe as I am to admit it, all the studies in the world demonstrating that emergency contraception works not by preventing implantation but by preventing ovulation and therefore fertilization might not hold sway in court.
Bergoglio’s past statements show a lack of understanding of how fundamental reproductive autonomy is to economic justice.