Pope Benedict’s Expected Stance Against Condoms To Prevent HIV ‘Fights Human Nature,’ Opinion Piece Says
Pope Benedict XVI likely "will not depart one iota from John Paul II's fervent opposition to anything other than the most rudimentary forms of birth control -- abstinence in one form or another -- including, of course, opposition to the use of condoms as a method" of HIV prevention, a position in which "we all have a stake," columnist Richard Cohen writes in a Washington Post opinion piece. Condoms are the "cheapest and most effective" method of preventing the spread of HIV, which is "particularly meaningful" in resource-poor settings, where often there are "no medical facilities to speak of," Cohen writes. The "catastrophe" of HIV/AIDS and population growth in areas of the world "that can least afford it are matters that concern us all," Cohen says, adding that the HIV/AIDS pandemic will result in the "death of so many people and the orphaning of children -- misery upon misery for people whose lives are already miserable enough." The pandemic also is contributing to the "near collapse of the African middle class," which "will cost us all money ... and it may result in a war or two," he says. The Catholic Church's promotion of abstinence and instruction against condom use in Catholic regions of the developing world "fights human nature itself," Cohen says (Cohen, Washington Post, 4/21).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.