By Miciah Bilger
In a much-anticipated apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis reaffirmed the Catholic Church’s position on the sanctity of life for unborn babies.
The newly released papal document Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) did not make any doctrinal changes, as some liberals hoped it would, according to the International Business Times. The 60,000-word apostolic exhortation addressed a number of issues related to the family, including abortion, divorce and same-sex marriage, the report states.
This is what the papal document had to say about abortion, according to the report:
On the subject of abortion, the document states the church’s commitment to its anti-abortion stance, adding that no woman’s “right to choose” over what happens to their own body can “justify terminating a life”.
It also states that healthcare workers in [facilities that perform abortions] should exercise their right to conscientiously object to abortion.
The New Statesman reports more from the document about abortion and euthanasia:
The pope also criticizes state action on abortion and contraception:
The Church strongly rejects the forced State intervention in favour of contraception, sterilization and even abortion. Such measures are unacceptable even in places with high birth rates, yet also in countries with disturbingly low birth rates we see politicians encouraging them. Elsewhere, he cites euthanasia and assisted dying as “serious threats to families worldwide”. He says the church “firmly [opposes] these practices” but should ” assist families who take care of their elderly and infirm members”.