Pope Francis Doubles Down: Abortion Is ‘Murder’

Pope Francis presides over the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) torchlight procession on Good
AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

ROME — Pope Francis hammered home his condemnation of abortion Thursday, insisting that medical professionals should opt out of the procedure for reasons of conscience.

In the case of abortion, conscientious objection is “a denunciation of the injustices committed against innocent and defenseless life,” the pope told a meeting of Italian pharmacists.

“You know that I am very clear on this,” Francis said, abortion “is murder and it is not permissible to become accomplices.”

“You are always at the service of human life,” he said, “and this may in some cases involve conscientious objection, which is not infidelity, but on the contrary fidelity to your profession, if validly motivated.”

“Today it is in vogue to think that perhaps it would be a good thing to get rid of conscientious objection,” he said. “But this is the ethical intimacy of every health professional and this should never be negotiated, it is precisely the ultimate responsibility of health professionals.”

In the written version of his text, the pope referenced a 2016 Vatican document that urges Catholic healthcare workers to firmly refuse to participate in abortions.

“In dealing with legislation favorable to abortion, the healthcare worker can only respond with civil but firm refusal,” the document declares. “A person can never obey an intrinsically immoral law, as is the case with a law that admits, in principle, the lawfulness of abortion.”

“The value of the inviolability of life and of God’s law that protects it, precedes every positive human law,” it continues. “When this contradicts it, conscience affirms its primary right and the primacy of God’s law: ‘We must obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5:29).”

As Argentina opens abortion debate, pope urges defense of life In a five-paragraph letter, released Saturday by the Argentine Bishops' Conference, urges Argentines to "make a contribution in defense of life and justice"

As Argentina opens abortion debate, Pope Francis urges defense of life and justice in a five-paragraph letter released by the Argentine Bishops’ Conference. (AP Image)

The pope warned his audience that pharmacists use “medicinal substances that can however turn into poisons,” in an apparent reference to abortifacient drugs used at home.

The pontiff also invited medical professionals to offer assistance to women “so that we do not come to think of abortion as a solution, because in reality it is not a solution.”


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