Pope says abortion is like hiring ´contract killer´
VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Wednesday compared having an abortion to hiring a "contract killer".
"Interrupting a pregnancy is like eliminating someone," Francis said in an address to worshippers in the Vatican.
"Getting rid of a human being is like resorting to a contract killer to solve a problem," he added.
"Is it just to resort to a contract killer to solve a problem?"
His comments departed from the prepared text for his homily delivered during his weekly audience on Saint Peter's Square.
In his address, the Argentine pontiff complained of a "depreciation of human life".
He cited wars, exploitation and what he called a culture of wastefulness, as well as abortion.
"How can an act that suppresses innocent life be therapeutic, civil or even human?" he asked.
Francis this year opposed a bill that would have legalized abortion in Argentina.
In August a lay campaign group said thousands of Argentine Catholics had renounced their membership of the church to protest against his opposition to the bill.
About Pope Francis
Pope Francis is the 266th and current Pope and sovereign of the Vatican City State. Francis is the first Jesuit pope, the first from the Americas, the first from the Southern Hemisphere, and the first pope from outside Europe since the Syrian Gregory III, who reigned in the 8th century.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Bergoglio was ordained a Catholic priest in 1969, and from 1973 to 1979 was Argentina's provincial superior of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). He became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires in 1998 and was created a cardinal in 2001 by Pope John Paul II. He led the Argentine Church during the December 2001 riots in Argentina. The administrations of Néstor Kirchner and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner considered him a political rival. Following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI on 28 February 2013, a papal conclave elected Bergoglio as his successor on 13 March. He chose Francis as his papal name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.