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The Holy See Statement on the Partial Birth Abortion

VATICAN CITY, April 19, 1996 (VIS) -The following is the declaration made this afternoon by Joaquin Navarro-Valls, Holy See Press Office director, on the decision by the president of the United States with regard to "partial birth abortion":

"The Holy See fully supports the position taken by the cardinals of the United States and by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. This position obviously is shared by many other persons, including non-Catholics.

"As has already been stated by the American cardinals, this presidential decision is 'more akin to infanticide than to abortion' and thus it is not surprising that 65 percent of those who call themselves 'pro choice' are opposed to 'partial birth abortion'.

"This presidential decision, in contradiction to the position of the American congress is a 'shameful veto' which in practice amounts to an incredibly brutal act of aggression against innocent human life and the inalienable human rights of the unborn.

"The fact that this presidential decision legalizes this inhuman procedure, morally and ethically imperils the future of a society which condones it.

"Naturally, this situation makes ever more urgent a greater solidarity of everyone in defense of life of the unborn, who cannot speak for themselves."

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