Pope Francis has indicated that the Catholic ban stopping women from using the Zika virus contraception may be relaxed.
In his statement, the pontiff said that aborting remained to be a crime and also included that avoiding pregnancy wasn’t “absolute evil.”
He made the remarks while replying to a question on how best the outbreak of the Zika virus across Latin America could be best tackled.
The virus has been associated with the deformed birth of babies. It is considered a serious virus considering its target group. Coming up with the vaccine is quite a challenge since testing on pregnant women is not so easy.
The teachings of the Roman Catholic do not allow the usage of contraceptives.
The pope told reporters that avoiding pregnancy and carrying out abortion shouldn’t be confused. He said that while on a flight from a Mexico visit.
He said that avoiding pregnancy cannot be considered as “absolute evil.” He also mentioned of a time when Blessed Paul VI authorized the nuns that stood a higher chance of being raped in Africa to use contraceptives.
We can take the Pope’s comments to be significant as at the moment. He does not directly allow for contraception but signals it from his statements.
When he was asked whether the Catholic church would allow for contraceptives to be used in controlling the Zika virus, Pope Francis said that one could apply the ”lesser of two evils” for some situations. He went ahead to cite an example that his predecessor Blessed Paul VI made when the nuns were allowed to use contraceptives due to high risk of being raped on a mission to Africa.
The pontiff thus leaves the door open for the affected Catholics to follow whatever their conscience tells them. However, the Pope clearly made it that abortion is evil and that birth control cannot be considered as “absolute evil.”
On Monday, the scientists said that the Zika virus can be linked to microcephaly after a study that involved pregnant women in Brazil.
Health experts in Brazil said that the virus has the ability of infecting the fetus. However, World Health Organization warned that that link is yet to be established. Information is expected to be released in the next few weeks concerning the same.
The UN and aid organizations have requested the women coming from countries affected by the virus to access contraceptives. That is meant to reduce the risk of infection.
They have also requested for the right for abortion. Most laws in Latin American countries do not legalize abortion. That is practiced only if the life of the mother is at risk.
The church on the other hand has called for abstinence or famously referred to as natural contraceptives.