Society “Can and Must” Offer Pregnant Women Better Alternatives

Here’s an excerpt from Mary Ann Glendon’s address on behalf of the Vatican Delegation at the UN Conference on Women, Beijing, September 5, 1995:

The position of the Holy See that abortion is the purposeful destruction of human life, and that it can never be a means of family planning is well known. At the same time, as John Paul II has emphasized, primary responsibility for a woman’s tragic and painful decision to have an abortion often lies with men and with the general social environment. All who are genuinely committed to the advancement of women know that society can and must offer a woman or girl who is pregnant, frightened, and alone, a better alternative than the destruction of her own unborn child. Many proponents of abortion as a woman’s “right”, however, are far from having women’s interests at heart. In fact, hiding in the shadows of the abortion rights movement are: irresponsible men; the prostitution traffic; the vast abortion industry that extracts it profits from the very bodies of women; and persons so enmeshed in scandalous patterns of consumption that they have come to see the world’s poor as threats to their own life-styles, rather than as fellow human beings. Surely, it should be obvious to all that the rights of women, like all human rights, cannot be secured by a right to destroy human life. [Emphasis added]

The full text of her remarks is here.


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