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Pope Condemns Promotion of Abortion as Health Care in Africa, Impacts Obama

Steven Ertelt,

Luanda, Angola ( — During an address to the leaders of the African nation of Angola, Pope Benedict XVI condemned abortion as a means of health care. His comments impact President Barack Obama, who has come under fire for forcing taxpayers to fund groups that promote and perform abortions there.

He criticized agencies and groups that, under the pretext of providing health care for impoverished nations, like those in Africa, promote abortion instead.

"How bitter the irony of those who promote abortion as a form of ‘maternal’ health care," the pontiff said in a ringing peroration. "How disconcerting the claim that the termination of life is a matter of reproductive health."

He said he is concerned that some groups are promoting abortion as an international right.

Such a policy is promoted by "those who, claiming to improve the ‘social edifice,’ threaten its very foundations."

Though he condemned language commonly employed by abortion businesses Planned Parenthood and Marie Stops International, both of whom profited financially from Obama overturning the Mexico City Policy, Pope Benedict said opposing abortion doesn’t live the interests of women behind.

"Particularly disturbing is the crushing yoke of discrimination that women and girls so often endure," he added.

He called on local Catholic leaders in Angola to support the Church’s pro-life and pro-woman teachings with legislative action and social programs.

The pope’s remarks today came during a speech at the presidential palace in the Angola capital. President Jose Eduardo Dos Santos welcomed him and spoke a room full of Catholic bishops, presidential staff, and foreign diplomats.

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, previously talked about the effect of Obama’s decision on nations like Angola.

"One effect of Obama’s order will be to divert many millions of dollars away from groups that do not promote abortion, and into the hands of those organizations that are the most aggressive in promoting abortion in developing countries," he said.

"Obama’s order will predictably result in a redirection of funds to groups such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which are ideologically committed to the doctrine that abortion on demand must be universally available as a birth control method," Johnson said.

After Obama’s decision, MSI talked about how it will use the American money in nations around the world.

"MSI, which operates nearly 600 reproductive health clinics and hundreds more outreach teams across 43 countries," the group said. "Having refused to sign the Mexico City Policy on principle, MSI was denied funding."

MSI indicated it was forced to shut down abortion centers in some of the poorest areas of Ethiopia and Kenya because it refused to commit to only providing non-abortion services to the people there.

Although some abortion advocates have tried to cast the Mexico City Policy as one that has nothing to do with abortion, MSI admits that it prevents funding of groups that lobby countries to reverse their pro-life laws.