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Pope Francis Suggests Contraception Acceptable In Zika-Hit Nations, Says Abortion ‘Absolute Evil’

Associated Press: Pope suggests contraception can be condoned in Zika crisis
“Pope Francis has suggested women threatened with the Zika virus could use artificial contraception, saying ‘avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil’ in light of the global epidemic…” (Winfield, 2/19).

The Guardian: Pope suggests contraception can be condoned in Zika crisis
“…However he reiterated the church’s staunch opposition to abortion, saying it was a crime and ‘absolute evil’…” (Sherwood, 2/18).

International Business Times: Pope Francis and Zika: Women Threatened By Virus Could Use Birth Control, Pontiff Says
“…Even if the pope condones the use of birth control, people in the region may not have access to it. In 2015, clinics in the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Honduras ran out of contraceptives, a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation found…” (Whitman, 2/18).

New York Times: Francis Says Contraception Can Be Used to Slow Zika
“…The careful positioning of the pope on the use of contraception reflects how the emergence of Zika, which was officially identified in Brazil less than a year ago, is forcing a wide array of political and religious institutions to respond to the virus’s rapid spread to more than 20 countries…” (Romero/Yardley, 2/18).

Wall Street Journal: Pope Francis Says Contraception Can Be Acceptable in Regions Hit by Zika Virus
“…[The pope’s comments] also could resonate in Africa, where AIDS still kills an estimated 1.1 million people a year. The use of condoms to help prevent its transmission has long been a flashpoint between the Catholic Church and health workers…” (Rocca, 2/18).

Washington Post: Pope: Contraceptives could be morally permissible in avoiding spread of Zika
“…Theologians disagreed about whether the outspoken pontiff had said something new. Popes in the past have spoken of exceptions to the ban on artificial contraception, but the debate Thursday centered on the context…” (Borstein et al., 2/18).

ABC News: Pope Francis Says Contraception May Be ‘Lesser of Two Evils’ During Zika Virus Outbreak (Mohney/Moran, 2/18).

Agence France-Presse: Pope Francis on Zika: abortion a crime, contraception a lesser evil (2/18).

The Atlantic: The Pope Takes on Contraception and the Zika Virus (Green, 2/18).

The Hill: Pope suggests people can use contraception to avoid Zika virus (Sullivan, 2/18).

Reuters: Zika crisis pressures Vatican to soften contraception stance (Eisenhammer, 2/18).

USA TODAY: Pope suggests contraception can be condoned in Zika crisis (Bacon, 2/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.