Pope Francis affirmed the Catholic stance against abortion Saturday, not long after multiple U.S. states passed bills restricting abortion.
“Is it legitimate to take out a human life to solve a problem?” Francis asked attendees at a Vatican conference on abortion, according to the New York Times. “Is it permissible to contract a hitman to solve a problem?”
Francis also voiced opposition to aborting an unhealthy fetus, calling it “inhuman eugenics.”
“Human life is sacred and inviolable and the use of prenatal diagnosis for selective purposes should be discouraged with strength,” he said.
The pontiff’s remarks echoed those he made about abortion in October, saying the procedure “suppresses innocent and helpless life in its blossoming.”
State governments in Alabama, Missouri, and Georgia have recently passed strict anti-abortion laws, often making it illegal to have the procedure after six or seven weeks into the pregnancy. The new laws are seen as a way for the issue to be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court and have Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that made abortion legal, overturned.