We knew it had to happen. A Catholic Archbishop made a comparison and determined abortion to be a greater sin than priestly child abuse.
Fabio Martínez Castilla, the Archbishop of Tuxtla Gutiérrez in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas, said during a homily at the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Marcos that when children are sexually abused “their future is dying,” but that it doesn’t compare with abortion because “it is murder.”
“Qualitatively, abortion is much more serious than the rape of children by priests,” Martínez Castilla said adding though that “both quantitatively do much harm and deserve punishment.”
He agrees that priests should be punished, although he avoided any incrimination of bishops and others who have enabled the abuse.
He added priests shouldn’t be targeted because of the sexual abuse scandals that have haunted the Catholic Church over the last decade, but that “teachers, politicians, doctors and anyone who goes against the goodness and freedom of a child should be punished”.
He doesn’t recognize that his organization not only has these paedophiles, but has protected them in a worldwide campaign to deflect responsibility. On the other hand, the availability of abortion and contraception strongly counter the church’s longstanding misogyny.
Abortion is much less physically and emotionally harmful to women, especially young women than carrying a child to term. Any negative emotional effects can often be traced to the public campaign that shames women who have attempted control over their own reproduction. Of course, the bullying that women receive as they run the gauntlet of protesters found outside of many clinics would negatively affect many. Unintended pregnancy and childbirth are also associated with lower education and increased poverty among women. There is also no truth to the often claimed association between breast cancer and abortion.
It is obvious that easy access to contraception, both ongoing and emergency, has nothing but positive effects on women’s health and rights. These are all points that are ignored by the patriarchal Catholic Church.
Castilla is correct in stating that abortion is not equal to child abuse, however he has the results of his comparison exactly backwards.