PEOPLE have less sex after the Pope visits a town, a study suggests.
Abortion rates usually fall by a fifth for up to 14 months after a papal visit but the birth rate stays the same.
So either couples have less sex or they use more contraception, say experts.
Abortion is deemed a sin by the Catholic church. Contraception is also against religious teaching but is usually seen as the “lesser of two evils”.
And UK researchers found whenever the Pope explicitly mentioned the “unholy” procedure of abortion in his speeches, the abortion rate fell twice as much as otherwise.
Normally fewer abortions would mean more births. But the birth rate stayed the same — meaning couples either used contraception or abstained from sex.
Scientists led by a University of Brighton team looked at 129 official visits made to 85 Italian provinces by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI between 1979 and 2012.
It does not include visits by Pope Francis, who became head of the Catholic church in 2013.