VATICAN, February 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Pope Benedict XVI addressed the Pontifical Academy for Life Saturday saying, “doctors are called to show particular fortitude in continuing to affirm that abortion resolves nothing; rather it kills the child, destroys the woman and blinds the conscience of the child’s father, often devastating family life.”
His comments were made in reference to the question of post-abortion syndrome ( PAS) which was being examined by the assembly. “The issue of post-abortion syndrome - namely the severe psychological problems commonly experienced by women who have had an abortion voluntary - reveals the irrepressible voice of moral conscience and the terrible wound it suffers each time a human action betrays the human being’s innate vocation to good,” he said.
The moral conscience, said the pope, is universal, not something that comes from external pressure or emotions, nor something unique to Christians and believers. “Through moral conscience God speaks to each of us, inviting us to defend human life at all times, and in this personal bond with the Creator lies the profound dignity of moral conscience and the reason for its inviolability,” he said.
Benedict XVI also spoke of the ramifications of abortion on the consciences of men. “In your reflections it would also be helpful to focus attention on the sometimes-clouded conscience of the children’s fathers, who often abandon pregnant women,” he explained. He also noted that care must be given to those experiencing trauma after abortion, reminding those suffering that even when they have rejected the truth, God offers forgiveness and healing.
Turning his attention to the medical profession the pope stressed that “doctors, in particular, must not fail in their serious duty to ensure that women’s consciences are not tricked into believing that abortion will resolve family, economic and social difficulties, or the health problems of their child.” He added: “In this latter situation in particular, women are often convinced, at times by the doctors themselves, that abortion represents not only a morally acceptable choice but even a ‘therapeutic’ act necessary to avoid suffering for the child and its family, and to remove an ‘unjust’ burden from society.”
The pope concluded the point, saying, “It is necessary that society as a whole must defend the conceived child’s right to life and the true good of the woman who can never, in any circumstances, find fulfilment in the decision to abort.”
The complete address in Italian is available online.