Obama Promises Pope He'll Work to Cut US Abortions

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2009 6:36 AM CDT
President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI, are photographed as they meet at the Vatican yesterday.   (AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, ho)
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(Newser) – President Obama told Pope Benedict XVI yesterday that he would make every effort to reduce the number of abortions in the US, according to a Vatican spokesman. Bioethics and life issues were the focus of the men's 40-minute talk yesterday. The pontiff gave the president a booklet explaining the church's opposition to abortion and stem cell research, Reuters reports.

Obama, who supports abortion rights and aims to reduce abortions by preventing unwanted pregnancies, is "eager to find common ground on these issues and to work aggressively to do that," says a White House spokesman. The pope was "very impressed" by Obama and left the talks "extremely satisfied," the Vatican says. (Read more abortion stories.)