Pope FrancisPope FrancisThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Industries for the Blind - What do Manchin and Sinema want? Pope Francis challenges vaccine skeptics Pope on Biden communion debate: Bishops shouldn't 'go condemning' MORE compared having an abortion to hiring a "hitman" and called the procedure always unacceptable on Saturday.
“Is it legitimate to take out a human life to solve a problem?” he said Vatican conference according to The New York Times. “Is it permissible to contract a hitman to solve a problem?”
The pope characterized aborting an unhealthy fetus as “inhuman eugenics.”
“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 Times.
His remarks come as anti-abortion legislation sweeps across several U.S. states. In recent weeks, several state legislatures have advanced or passed bills outlawing abortion at about six weeks into a pregnancy. This month, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed a bill into law that would outlaw almost all abortions.
On Friday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed a bill on Friday prohibiting abortion at eight weeks into pregnancy.
With the new legislation also comes a renewed debate in the U.S. around the issue, with several 2020 Democratic candidates proposing new ways to protect abortion rights.
According to the National Catholic Register, a Catholic newspaper, Francis previously made the hitman comparison in October.