Below are excerpts of a statement from Pope Francis to the Italian Pro-Life movement on February 2, 2019. The official Vatican translation of the entire speech will be posted here once it is available.
Pope Francis emphasized the need to protect unborn children from abortion calling abortion "a grave problem" that undermines the foundation for "the building of justice, compromising the correct solution of any other human and social issue."
In remarks to the Italian Pro-Life Movement on the occasion of the 41st National Pro-Life Day, English translation provided by Zenit, Pope Francis appealed to politicians of all faiths to "put as the first rock of the common good the defense of the life of those that are about to be born and make their entrance in society, to which they bring novelty, a future and hope."
Politicians were admonished to "not let themselves be conditioned by logics that look only to personal success or immediate or partisan interests, but always look far, and look at all with the heart."
Pope Francis recognized that abortion undermines the foundation for the common good and called abortion "a betrayal of our vocation" and describing it as an act "to extinguish life voluntarily in its budding" that also betrays the "pact that binds the generations among themselves, a pact that enables us to look ahead with hope. Where there is life, there is hope!"
He addressed the "primary value of human life" and the "absolute duty to defend it, from conception to its natural end" and urged that the defense of life involves"every citizen and the complex web of social relations."
In reflecting on the current state of abortion Pope Francis stated "...if life itself is violated in its beginning, what remains is no longer the grateful and amazed reception of the gift, but rather a cold calculation of that we can dispose of. Then life is also reduced to a good of consumption, to be used for ourselves and for others, or discarded."
He lamented the pervasiveness of this tragic rational that renders the unborn child a commodity devoid of innate value and presents abortion as a human right resulting in much suffering to the "weakest of our brothers"- "presentata anche come un diritto umano, e quante sofferenze causa ai più deboli dei nostri fratelli"!
The Pope stressed that taking care of life means doing so "during the whole of life, and up to the end" and includes "the conditions of life: health, education, work opportunities, and so on", that enable a person to live a dignified life.
The Italian Pro-Life Movement was recognized as having "witnessed frankly that all those that are conceived are children of the whole society, and their killing in an enormous number, with the endorsement of the States, is a grave problem that undermines at the base the building of justice, compromising the correct solution of any other human and social issue."
PNCI welcomes the timely remarks of Pope Francis and hopes his words serve to encourage legislators of all political parties and faiths to use their positions to advance laws and policies that protect children in the womb from the violence of abortion.