'Pope Francis has likened abortion to “hiring a contract killer” in some of his strongest remarks yet on the subject.
It was not fair to “take out a human life to solve a problem”, he said.
“Is it fair to hire a contract killer to solve a problem? It is not fair. We cannot take out a human being, even if it is small."
The remarks, delivered during his weekly audience in St Peter’s Square, were unscripted and diverged from his prepared text.
The comments are likely to be welcomed by conservative Catholics, particularly in the United States where a political battle rages over the issue, but will be viewed with dismay by more moderate Catholics who defend a woman’s right to seek an abortion in certain circumstances.
Having an abortion meant eliminating “an innocent and helpless life”, the Pope told tens of thousands of people gathered in the piazza in front of St Peter’s Basilica.
It is not the first time he has used emotive language to condemn abortion.
In June, he compared abortion to the Nazis’ eugenics programme, the only difference being that it was performed with “white gloves”.
“Last century, the whole world was scandalised by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves,” he told an Italian family association. He urged couples to accept children “as God gives them to us.”'
Read more: Pope Francis compares having an abortion to 'hiring a contract killer'
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