Vatican News staff writer
Responding to a letter sent by the women’s network “Mujeres de las Villas”, the Pope offers his “sincere thanks” for their work.
Since 2018, the network has been fighting for the protection of the unborn, especially in the working-class neighbourhoods of Buenos Aires.
In particular, the signatories of the letter asked for Pope Francis’ support in their commitment against the legalization of voluntary abortion, currently much debated in the country.
In his handwritten letter dated the 22 November, and addressed to the network’s intermediary and Argentine Congress member Victoria Morales Gorleri, the Pope expresses admiration "for their work and their testimony" and encourages them to "move forward".
Human life is sacred
“The country is proud to have women like this”, he writes, stressing that “the problem of abortion is not primarily a question of religion, but of human ethics, first and foremost of any religious denomination”.
For this reason, the Pope reiterates that "it is good to ask two questions: Is it fair to eliminate a human life to solve a problem? Is it right to hire a killer to solve a problem?". The Pope's letter concludes with a blessing for the women and a request to pray for him.
The concern of women’s network
In their correspondence, the women’s network express their grievances to the Pope, especially at a time when an abortion bill has been presented by many quarters as an easy solution for adolescents living in the suburbs and facing unexpected pregnancies.
“We are overwhelmed by cold terror, if we think that this bill aims to cultivate the idea that abortion is one more possibility in the range of contraceptive methods and that its main target groups are poor girls”, they write.
“Our voice, like that of unborn children, is never heard”, lament the women.
“The legislators and the press do not want to listen to us and if…we did not have priests raising their voices for us, we would be even more alone”. “Our teenage daughters”, they point out, “are growing up with the idea that they do not have the right to have children because they are poor”.
March for life
On Saturday, 28 November, in Argentina, there will be several protests against the abortion bill. One of them is called the “March of the slippers” which will see participants gather in Buenos Aires, in front of the headquarters of the National Congress, to pray the Rosary and place the lives of the unborn under the protection of the Virgin Mary.
The protests have received the support of the local bishops, who on several occasions reaffirmed the importance of protecting life from conception to its natural end. On 20 November, the Episcopal Commission for Life, Laity and Family (CEVILAF), in a note, deplored the bill currently under discussion, reiterating that “for the first time, in Argentina and in democracy, a law could be passed that includes the death of one person to save another”. “Only by saving both lives”, the Commission reiterated, “can we all be saved”.
Finally, CEVILAF urged the faithful to join the demonstrations on Saturday, as they are “public expressions in favour of the human right to life that every person has and is guaranteed by the Constitution”.