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Malformed foetus is no reason for an abortion: Pope

Hitting out: Pope Francis
Hitting out: Pope Francis

By Tim Smith

Pope Francis has said abortion can never be condoned, even when the foetus is gravely sick or malformed. He urged doctors and priests to support families to carry such pregnancies to term.

At a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference, Francis said opposition to abortion is not a religious issue but a human one, asking: "Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem? Is it licit to hire a hitman to resolve a problem?"

Francis denounced decisions to abort based on prenatal testing, saying a human being is "never incompatible with life".

Even those babies destined to die at birth or soon thereafter deserve to receive medical care in the womb, Francis said.

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