By Reuters and Agence France-Presse
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis reiterated Saturday that abortion is unacceptable, saying its use amounted to the hiring of a “paid killer.”
“Is it lawful to eliminate a human lift to resolve a problem? It is lawful to hire a paid killer to resolve a problem,” Francis asked during a conference at the Vatican on the use of abortion when the unborn child is found to have a serious illness.
“No human being can ever be incompatible with life,” he said, adding: “Every child is a gift that changes the history of a family… and this child needs to be welcomed, loved and cared for.”
In cases where the child may not live for very long, medical care is not wasted but by gaining time, allows parents to prepare for the death.
“That child will remain in their lives forever,” he said.
Abortion is a raging political battle in a number of countries, including the United States, where many conservatives hope the Supreme Court will eventually overturn the landmark 1973 ruling known as Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.
The Roman Catholic Church teaches that life begins at the moment of conception and ends at the moment of natural death. It also forbids euthanasia but says that a family or a patient can decide to stop using extraordinary means to keep people alive.
Shortly after becoming Pope in March 2013, Francis appeared to downplay the importance of “cultural war” issues such as abortion, contraception and gay marriage, saying in an interview the Church had become “obsessed” with them.
“It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time,” he said in that interview, adding that the Church’s stand on them was very clear and that it also had to address social issues such as poverty, injustice and immigration.