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Pope Compares Abortion To Hiring A Hitman Amid Alabama Abortion Law Controversy

REUTERS/Remo Casilli

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter

Pope Francis on Saturday reiterated the Catholic Church’s position that abortion is always wrong at a Vatican conference on hospice care for terminal newborns and ministries for the parents of such children.

His comments come as the U.S. debate over abortion reaches a tipping point with multiple states trying to strengthen their pro-life legislation. At the forefront is Alabama, which passed the most restrictive abortion law in the country May 15. The law could cause a legal fight over Roe v. Wade some believe may reach the Supreme Court.

Francis emphasized that unborn babies who are diagnosed with serious conditions in the womb should be carried to term, calling selective abortion an “expression of an inhuman eugenics mentality,” reported Catholic News Agency. (RELATED: Here Is What Adults Conceived In Rape Have To Say About Abortion)

“Is it legitimate to take out a human life to solve a problem?” Francis said at the conference. “Is it permissible to contract a hitman to solve a problem?”

Pope Francis receives members of the Eparchy of Lungro that brings together Italian-Albanian Catholics, at the Vatican May 25, 2019. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

Pope Francis receives members of the Eparchy of Lungro that brings together Italian-Albanian Catholics, at the Vatican May 25, 2019. Vatican Media/Handout via REUTERS

Handsmaid themed protesters march down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, on May 25, 2019, to protest the proposed Heartbeat Bill that will ban abortion after 6 weeks in that state scheduled for a vote on May 28. (EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images)

Handsmaid themed protesters march down Bourbon Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana, on May 25, 2019, to protest the proposed Heartbeat Bill that will ban abortion after 6 weeks in that state scheduled for a vote on May 28. (EMILY KASK/AFP/Getty Images)

Saturday was not the first time Francis used the “hitman” analogy, which The New York Times called one of his “most contentious remarks.”

“Human life is sacred and inviolable and the use of prenatal diagnosis for selective purposes should be discouraged with strength,” Francis said according to The NYT.

The pope also encouraged doctors to help women carry pregnancies with such diagnoses to term. Francis has been sympathetic to women who have chosen abortion and also made it easier for their sins to be absolved, according to The NYT.

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