A nominally Catholic abortion lobby group called Catholics for Choice has appealed to Pope Francis to permit Church members to procure abortions in good conscience as a means of eliminating the possibility of having children with birth defects caused by the Zika virus.

According to Reuters, the Washington DC-based Catholics for Choice plans is running ads in the International New York Times and El Diario de Hoy in El Salvador on Thursday, just before the Pope embarks on his trip to Cuba and Mexico.

“Women’s decisions around pregnancy, including the decision to end a pregnancy, need to be respected, not condemned,” the ad reads.

The dissenting pro-abortion group was founded as “Catholics for a Free Choice” in 1973 by a former Catholic nun named Frances Kissling, who led the association for 25 years. The organization has been repeatedly repudiated by the bishops of the United States and Canada as a non-Catholic branch of the abortion lobby that has no right to use the name Catholic.

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