Pope Francis is being opposed by women’s groups for his comments on abortion.
Pope Francis compared the act of abortion to hiring the services of a hitman during a speech at the Vatican on October 10. He asked the audience whether killing a human life to solve a problem presents a viable solution. The crowd replied in the negative. The pontiff then asked the crowd whether it is morally acceptable to hire a contract killer to do a job which a person finds hard to do by themselves. The speech has been interpreted differently by different news outlets. A few have interpreted the Italian term into English as “hitman” while others wrote “a contract killer.” The statement makes it one of the harshest words uttered by Francis against abortion.
Pope Francis did not stop at comparing abortion to a contract to kill. He asked the audience how a particular act which terminates a helpless and innocent life which could blossom into something beautiful could be considered therapeutic or civil? Or even humane? He told the audience in no uncertain terms that it is never alright to take any human life, regardless of its size.
These statements by the pope are in consonance with his earlier abortion remarks, made in June. Francis had denounced abortion during that time and likened it to "white glove" equivalent of eugenics processes practiced in Nazi Germany. He said the whole world was horrified to see Nazi excesses and the methods they adopted to "purify" their race. The pope said the same thing is happening now but in a different manner. He said families must accept children as they have been given by God.
The pope's stance is at odds with Italian women's groups fighting to ensure hygienic and safe access to all abortion practices. They face an uphill battle as anti-abortion groups partner with ultra-right-wing politicians to clamp down on all abortion practices. They want to completely ban the procedure. In some parts of Italy, like Verona, city Councillors belonging to the League Party, a far-right political group, have passed an initiative which will promote motherhood and prevent abortion. The city is pushing a project which will enable women to give up babies so that willing families can readily adopt them.
— Norissima ? (@__B_E_E) October 10, 2018
The Pope Francis of the present is a far cry from the time he ascended to the top hierarchical position in the Catholic Church in 2013. He was then adopting a much easier stance towards issues like abortion and homosexuality.