Pope John Paul II has urged pregnant rape victims in Bosnia not to have abortions.
“These likenesses of God, these new beings have to be respected and loved . . . ,” the Pope said in a letter to Sarajevo Archbishop Vinko Puljik made public Friday.
The U.N. Human Rights Commission and other human rights groups have condemned Bosnian Serbs and their Serbian backers for war atrocities, including the systematic rape of thousands of Muslim women. A European Community report recently estimated the number of rape victims at 20,000.
“The entire community has to rally around these women so painfully violated . . . to help them transform an act of violence into an act of love and welcome,” the Pope said.