by UPI Wire Jun 6, 2006
VATICAN CITY, June 6, 2006 (UPI) -- In a document by the Pontifical Council on the Family, the Vatican said that unless abortion is punished as a crime it will be seen as a "banal" act.
"Family and Human Procreation" did not specify the appropriate penalties for women who have abortions and doctors who carry them out, the Italian news agency Ansa said. Most anti-abortion activists have shied away from recommending punishment for women who terminate pregnancies.
"Today people want to trivialize abortion with the claim that authorities must not penalize this abominable crime," the Vatican said.
Abortion is legal in most of Europe in the early months of pregnancy, even in majority-Catholic countries like Italy, France and Spain.
The document lays out the Roman Catholic church's position before the World Council of Families, to be held in Valencia, Spain. Pope Benedict XVI is expected to attend the final two days of the council on July 8 and July 9.
The council also blasted civil unions for unmarried couples, whether heterosexual or homosexual -- calling them "the eclipse of God" -- and fertility treatments.