President Barack Obama expressed his commitment to reducing the number of U.S. abortions in a private meeting with Pope Benedict XVI this Friday.
Obama has vocally supported the legality of abortion and the importance of a woman’s right to choose. In meeting with Benedict, however, the president also stressed the importance of improving social and economic conditions so that fewer women need to make such a choice.
The pontiff responded by giving Obama a copy of “Dignitas Personae” (The Dignity of a Person), a document which outlines the Vatican’s stance on bio-ethics. The document condemns abortion, the use of contraception, and embryonic stem cell research, for which Obama lifted federal funding restrictions last March.
The pope also presented Obama with a copy of his latest encyclical, “Charity in Truth,” which calls for an ethical reorganization of the world’s financial system and economic policies. The president joked that the two lengthy documents would give him something to read on the plane.
Obama and Benedict spoke for roughly forty minutes in the Vatican’s apostolic palace. Both the White House and the Vatican reported favorably on the meeting.
Further information about the meeting is available here.
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