In his speech to thousands of Catholics gathered in Vatican City, Pope Francis asked the road gathered at St.Peter’s Square on Wednesday whether it was right to ever “take out” a human life, according to Reuters.
“I ask you: ‘Is it right to ‘take out’ a human life to solve a problem? What do you think? Is it right? Is it right or not?” Francis asked, to which the crowd responded “no.”
“Is it right to hire a hit man to solve a problem? You cannot, it is not right to kill a human being, regardless of how small it is, to solve a problem. It is like hiring a hit man to solve a problem,” Francis continued.
“How can an act that suppresses an innocent and helpless life that is germinating be therapeutic, civilized or even simply human?” he added.
Francis, seen as a progressive on some issues for the church, including its attitude towards the LGBT community, has staked a traditionalist position on abortion rights since ascending to the papacy.
Pope Francis did allow priests to begin offering forgiveness for the practice in 2016, while at the time reaffirming the church’s stance that abortion is a “grave sin.”
“I wish to restate as firmly as I can that abortion is a grave sin, since it puts an end to an innocent life,” Francis wrote in a letter in 2016.
“In the same way, however, I can and must state that there is no sin that God’s mercy cannot reach and wipe away when it finds a repentant heart seeking to be reconciled with the Father.”
“Our defense of the innocent unborn, for example, needs to be clear, firm and passionate. Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned,” he said earlier this year.
In June, Pope Francis also denounced how some couples resort to pre-natal testing to see if their unborn babies have malformations and then choose to have an abortion, which he said was the “white glove” equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program. He also had similar views on euthanasia by calling it the “ throwaway culture,”
Though Pope Francis is referring to a line in the sense that taking a life is a sin. But comparing abortion to hiring a hitman is a grave mistake because an abortion can’t equate with contract murder as they are far from obvious not morally equivalent. Cold-blooded murder carried out by hitmen, is not morally acceptable whereas for many women terminating her pregnancy is morally acceptable. A report posted by Ipsos reflected that more and more people deem that abortion is a women’s choice as it can be based on many factors.
The ‘hitman’ analogy also refers to a contract killer who in all countries are deemed illegal and by that sense he meant that women are using illegal methods to abort or paying off doctors to have the procedure done. Though most medical professionals and practitioners don’t choose to perform the procedure, many women are also resorting to legal and safe methods of abortion such as legal and approved self administered pills.
While hitman’s only motive is to kill, Abortion is done because of many reasons. Few of them being health issues, if the doctor states that the pregnancy can cause severe harm to the maternal health or to the child – parents have a right to make their choice. Many women in underdeveloped and developing countries are not allowed to abort the child if it is born due to rape. Rape can cause difficulties during and after pregnancy, with potential negative consequences for both the victim and a resulting child, but this is often overlooked and in many countries the women is not allowed to file a case against the assaulter and sometimes she isn’t forced to marry him.
In Italy, the country where Pope is born – More than 70% of doctors and medical practitioners conscientiously object to abortion, leaving women with limited access to abortions even though abortion is legal.
Judith Jarvis Thompson, a Philosopher in the 1970s addressed the dilemma of abortion through a short cut….
An abortion ends the life of a fetus which was dependent on another life; a hitman ends the life of an independent human being with no personal connection or reason but only through means of monetary gain and no pregnancy is terminated in relation to that reason.