“Abortion is never the answer that women and families seek”. On the occasion of the International Congress ‘Yes to Life! Caring for the Precious Gift of Life in its Frailty’ organized at the Vatican on 25 May, Pope Francis reminded the 400 participants from 70 countries that “no human being can ever be incompatible with life, not due to his age, his health conditions, or the quality of his existence”. He then added that “every child that enters a woman’s womb is a gift, which changes the story of a family. […] And this baby is in need of being received, loved and taken care of. Always!”
With regard to prenatal diagnosis, he noted that these techniques “are able to discover from the first weeks the presence of malformations and pathologies, which at times can put in serious danger the life of the child and the serenity of the woman”. He explained that “the sole suspicion of pathology, but even more so the certainty of a sickness, change the experience of the pregnancy, casting women and couples into profound dejection”. The Holy Father expressed delight that medical progress is enabling some of these “little patients” to be treated. However, he also warned that “such possibilities and knowledge […] indispensable that doctors have very clear not only the objective of the cure but the sacred value of human life, whose protection, in the end, rests on medical practice”.
With regard to children who, “in the present state of scientific knowledge, are destined to die immediately after birth, or in a brief period of time”, the Pope invited us to “take care of them” to help parents “elaborate their mourning and think of it not only as a loss but as a stage of a path followed together. That child will remain in their life forever. And they will have been able to love him. Often, those few hours in which a mother can cradle her child leave a trace in the woman’s heart, which she never forgets”.
The Holy Father then continued: “Human life is sacred and inviolable and the use of prenatal diagnosis for selective ends is energetically discouraged, as an expression of an inhuman eugenic mentality, which removes from the family the possibility to receive, embrace and love their weakest children“. Commitment to life is not an act of faith, “it is a human problem”.