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Pope Francis said Saturday that abortion can never be condoned, even when the fetus is gravely sick or likely to die, and urged doctors and priests to support families to carry such pregnancies to term, reports AP.

Speaking to a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference, Francis said the opposition to abortion isn’t a religious issue but a human one.

“Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem?” he asked. “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, adding that their parents need to be supported so they don’t feel isolated and afraid.

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