There is no reason in the world why those who believe in women’s reproductive rights should give Pope Francis a free pass for his comments about birth control on his trip to the Philippines. Quite frankly, he disgraced himself.
Out of all the massive problems faced by Filipino working people, including militarism & massive homelessness, the Pope chose to focus on birth control. The most ardent feminist can understand, even if they don’t accept, the scruples of some about abortion. But birth control is what they call a “no-brainer.” He was protesting the Filipino Responsible Parenthood & Reproductive Health Act passed in 2012 that gives women access to contraception (but appears to have links to the Gates Foundation & eugenics campaigns).
The Pope had the temerity to equate the population control of eugenicist practitioners (like the Gates Foundation) with reproductive rights advocates. Which is exactly what the US right-wing does to oppose reproductive rights.
He should have left well enough alone but on the plane back to Rome he ad-libbed his way to infamy when he said the Church advocated “responsible parenthood” & that to be good Catholics they needn’t ‘breed like rabbits.’ He cited a woman he recently met who had seven children by caesarean section & put her life at risk by becoming pregnant again. He said he chided her for “tempting God” & for being irresponsible. You don’t have to be a feminist to stand aghast at the arrogance.
He told reporters the Church allows natural family planning (nothing kills sexual spontaneity faster) & abstinence during a woman’s fertile period. Before he keeps pronouncing on sexual matters someone needs to send him a copy of “Our Bodies, Ourselves” so he can get educated on human physiology.
Let’s say it outright: the Pope’s comments are an outrage insulting to those many Catholics who took the birth control ban seriously but still wanted to have sex. His comments demean human sexuality & women in one fell swoop. Maybe he’d better stay put in the Vatican for awhile.
(Photo of Pope Francis stepping in horse manure on the plane to Rome by Stefano Rellandini/Reuters)