Francis Says Contraception Can Be Used to Slow Zika

February 19, 2016 • Daily Email Recap

Francis Says Contraception Can Be Used to Slow Zika

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SÃO PAULO, Brazil – Pope Francis shook up an already intense debate over birth control and abortion in Latin American countries where the Zika virus is causing a public health emergency by declaring on Thursday that contraceptives could be used to prevent the spread of Zika, which researchers have linked to a spike in cases of babies born with severe brain damage.
The pope’s remarks came in a wide-ranging, midair news conference on his way back to Rome from Mexico in which he made a distinction between abortion and birth control. He ruled out condoning abortion, which he called “a crime, an absolute evil.” But he seemed somewhat open to making an exception for contraception, citing Pope Paul VI’s decision in the 1960s to make an emergency exception to permit nuns in the Belgian Congo to use contraceptives because they were in danger of rape.

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