Pope Francis on Saturday said abortion can never be condoned, even when the fetus is gravely sick or malformed. He is urging doctors and priests to support families to carry such pregnancies to term.
During an audience with participants of a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference, Francis said opposition to abortion isn’t a religious issue but a human one: “Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem? Is it licit to hire a hitman to resolve a problem?”
Francis denounced decisions to abort based on prenatal testing, saying a human being is “never incompatible with life.” The pope has spoken out strongly against abortion, though he has also expressed sympathy for women who have had them and made it easier for them to be forgiven.
This isn’t the first time the pontiff has used the “hitman” analogy. From last October:
In his general audience Wednesday, Pope Francis said that abortion “suppresses innocent and helpless life in its blossoming.”
“Is it right to take a human life to solve a problem? It’s like hiring a hitman,” Pope Francis said in St. Peter’s Square Oct. 10, in a departure from his prepared remarks.
“Violence and the rejection of life are born from fear,” the Pope added.
For this reason, parents who learn that their unborn child will have a disability need “real closeness, true solidarity to face reality, overcoming understandable fears,” he explained.
Pope Francis lamented that parents receiving a difficult prenatal diagnosis often “receive hasty advice to stop the pregnancy.”
It is contradictory to suppress “human life in the womb in the name of safeguarding other rights,” the Pope insisted.
“How can an act that suppresses innocent and helpless life in its blossoming be therapeutic, civil or simply human?”