When adopting the the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the Holy See rejected a one-dimensional interpretation of “reproductive health,” a Vatican cardinal said Tuesday. That interpretation would require “an ideological promotion of contraception and abortion.”
Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, addressed a seminar in Rome on health and sexuality in sustainable development goals and in Church teaching. The seminar, held on International Women’s Day, was co-sponsored by the Council for Justice and Peace, the World Youth Alliance, and its sister organization, FEMM, which deals with women’s health issues.
Nations around the world last September adopted an agenda to end poverty and hunger, protect the planet, ensure clean water and sanitation and work toward “gender equality,” among other goals. Each of the 17 goals has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years.
The “gender equality” includes goals such as eliminating all forms of violence against all women and girls, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation, and eliminating practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation. It also calls for ensuring “universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences.”
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