Roman Catholic leader, Pope Francis on Saturday compared abortion to seeking out a hitman and condemned the procedure as unforgivable — even if the unborn child is gravely ill or likely to die.

Pope Francis

His remarks came during a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference, where he stressed that abortion is not 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 a hire a hitman to resolve a problem?”

His holiness also urged doctors and priests to support families and encourage them to carry pregnancies to term — despite any prenatal diagnoses. Even those babies who are terminal deserve to receive medical care, he said, adding that a human being is “never incompatible with life.”

Providing medical care to such newborns “helps parents grieve and not only think of it as a loss, but as a step on a path taken together,” Francis said.

The pope has previously condemned abortion, though he has made it easier for women who have had the procedure to be absolved for the so-called sin.

Pope Francis’ comments also come amid a tense, nationwide abortion debate, sparked by legislation passed in several states that equate to a near-total ban on abortion.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood on Friday filed a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s “Human Life Protection Act,” which is slated to go into effect this November.

The organizations condemned the legislation, which reclassifies providing an abortion as a felony, as “blatantly unconstitutional.”

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