Pope Francis spoke on Saturday concerning the rising debate surrounding abortion. The Holy Father said abortion can never be condoned, even when the fetus is gravely sick or malformed. He is urging doctors and priests to support families to carry such pregnancies to term.
The Pope’s comments came during an audience with participants of a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference. He surprised many with a comparison between abortion and hiring a hitman for a murder. Francis said opposition to abortion isn’t a religious issue but a human one: “Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem? Is it licit to hire a hitman to resolve a problem?”
Francis’ comments come as several laws passed in the U.S. have severely limited or essentially banned the right to an abortion established in Roe v. Wade. Abortion became legal and the law of the land after this controversial legal case.
A federal judge in Mississippi on Friday blocked a state law that prohibited abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, around six weeks into pregnancy.
Three other states — Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio — have passed their own “fetal heartbeat” bills. Last week, Alabama’s Gov. Kay Ivey signed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday signed a law banning abortions at eight weeks. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who ran on an anti-abortion rights platform, has said he will sign his state’s fetal heartbeat bill.
Although these pieces of legislation have been signed, none of those bills are currently in effect. The ACLU and Planned Parenthood on Friday filed a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s near-total abortion ban, and the ACLU challenged Ohio’s bill last week. Kentucky’s fetal heartbeat bill has been blocked by a federal judge.
What do you think about the Pope’s comments on this weighty issue?