The Slatest

Pope Francis: Abortion Is Never OK, Compares it to Hiring “a Hit Man to Resolve a Problem”

Pope Francis arrives to give an audience at the Vatican on May 25, 2019.
Pope Francis arrives to give an audience at the Vatican on May 25, 2019.
FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/Getty Images

Pope Francis reiterated the Catholic Church’s extreme stance on abortion, saying that the practice could never be condoned, even when the fetus is seriously sick and likely to die during pregnancy. Speaking at an anti-abortion conference sponsored by the Vatican, Francis emphasized that the objection to abortion shouldn’t be seen as a religious issue. “Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem?” he asked. “Is it licit to hire a hit man to resolve a problem?” Prenatal testing should never lead to an abortion because a human being is “never incompatible with life,” he said.

A prenatal diagnosis, no matter how difficult, should never be seen as a green light for terminating a pregnancy. “Fear and hostility toward disability often lead to the choice of abortion, configuring it as a practice of ‘prevention’,” the pope said. “But the Church’s teaching on this point is clear: human life is sacred and inviolable and the use of prenatal diagnosis for selective purposes must be strongly discouraged because it is the expression of an inhuman eugenics mentality, which removes the possibility for families to accept, embrace and love their weakest children.”

This is, of course, hardly the first time the pope has spoken up against abortion. He had previously compared abortions to the Nazis. “Last century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves,” Francis said in June of last year. Despite his strong words against abortion, the pope has also expressed sympathy for women who go through with the practice and in 2016 made it easier for priests to forgive abortions.