Pope Francis has compared abortion to ‘hiring a hitman’ during a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference.
He said abortion can never be condoned, even when the fetus is gravely sick or malformed.
He urged doctors and priests to support families to carry such pregnancies to term.
The Pope claimed his opposition to abortion was not for religious issues, but for human ones.
He said: ‘Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem?
‘Is it licit to hire a hitman to resolve a problem?’
Francis disagreed with abortions done on grounds of prenatal testing which reveals problems with the fetus.
He said a human being is ‘never incompatible with life’.
Francis has spoken out strongly against abortion, although he has also expressed sympathy for women who have had them and made it easier for them to be forgiven.