This past week in St. Peter’s Square,  Pope Francis delivered a speech where he described couples who choose not to have children as “selfish”. Where to start? Anyone who is familiar with my editorial cartoons knows I’m not a fan of Vatican policies regarding women and reproductive issues (and before the accusations of Catholic-bashing start rolling in, let me clarify– I’m not criticizing religious beliefs themselves but rather the religious leaders who exert influence on issues which also affect non-Catholics).

While some of Francis’ past positive statements on homosexual and LGBT worshipers had given hope that maybe the Catholic Church is embracing a more inclusive and progressive stance, the Pope’s latest remarks just confirms that the openness isn’t extending to the role of women. Women should marry and have babies, not pursue selfish other life options such as “devoting your life to brain surgery, or teaching, or founding a charity…” as Gaby Hinsliff over at The Guardian writes. It could be suggested that the real selfishness lies with an institution that opposes access to contraceptives and family planning to women throughout the world.

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