Pope Francis condoned birth control for women in areas where the Zika virus is rampant. The Pope was returning to Rome from Mexico when he told reporters that in places where the Zika virus is wreaking havoc and causing panic — especially in numerous densely Catholic Latin American countries — contraception is okay. Pope Francis cited as a precedent Pope Paul VI, who had exempted nuns working in the Congo in the 1960s from the Catholic ban on contraception. The nuns in the region were constant targets of rape.
The New York Times quotes the Pope as saying “avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil.” He distinguished contraception from abortion, labeling the latter “absolute evil.”