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Bishops of Papua New Guinea lament pressure for abortion, sterilization

May 15, 2014

The Catholic bishops of Papua New Guinea have issued a public warning against “dangerous trends” toward acceptance of abortion and sterilization.

In an open letter to government leaders, the bishops said that their relationship with the state has always been based on mutual respect, and pointed to Church-state cooperation in the fields of health, education, and social services. However, the bishops said that they are compelled to speak out on moral issues, as they have spoken in the past in opposition to capital punishment.

In that context, the bishops remarked that the country’s leaders “face great pressure”—including pressure from outside the country—to end the ban on abortion in Papua New Guinea. “We pray that our leaders will never bow to this temptation,” they write.

The bishops go on to decry the “political ideology that links development with population control,” and the willingness to invite organizations to “temporarily sterilize great numbers of women” in order to slow population growth. That approach ignores the welfare of women, the bishops write, and fails to recognize the rich resources of the country.


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