Ever since Trump announced his plans to “give abortion back to the states,” whatever that means, women across America have been rightfully angry.
For decades, one of the largest proponents against abortion has been the Catholic Church. But now that our president may also be a threat to reproductive rights, the Church seems to have changed its tune. Today, Pope Francis ruled all women may be forgiven for abortions. Before the Year of Mercy, which ended Sunday, Catholic women could be immediately excommunicated for having one. Now, the Pope has extended his ruling on the subject, giving priests the ability to offer forgiveness to women who confess to their abortions.
“I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life,” he wrote in this year’s apostolic letter. “In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.”
Today’s news is a huge step for both Catholic women and a culture inextricably linked to the Church, despite its denials. That being said, abortion must stop being religiously viewed as a sin or women will inevitably continue to endanger themselves by trying to get them discreetly. Getting an abortion should not require an apology, and the longer women are shamed for their sexuality and told how they have to treat their own bodies, the further we remain from true equality.