Faith

Pope Francis: Aborting babies with health defects is like Nazism 'with white gloves

Pope Francis compared the practice of aborting babies with potential defects to Nazism. His remarks Saturday came as his home country of Argentina is working to pass a law that would require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. (Filippo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

On Saturday, Pope Francis compared selectively aborting babies to avoid potential birth defects to Nazism "with white gloves." The remarks came as his home country of Argentina is working to pass a law that would require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.

What did Pope Francis say?

As CNN reported, Pope Francis came out strongly against the practice of aborting babies to avoid potential health problems.

"I have heard that it's fashionable, or at least usual, that when in the first months of pregnancy they do studies to see if the child is healthy or has something, the first offer is: let's send it away," the pope said.

"I say this with pain," he added. "In the last century the whole world was scandalized about what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today we do the same, but now with white gloves."

These comments were made while the pope was speaking to a delegation representing Italy's Family Association.

The pope's comments come at a time when technological advancements make it easier to determine whether or not an unborn child is at risk for certain defects.

In Iceland, where prenatal screenings are common, nearly 100 percent of women who are told that their children may be born with Down syndrome have their babies aborted, according CBS News. CBS referred to this as "eradicating Down syndrome births."

In the U.S., 67 percent of women who are told that their child is likely to have Down syndrome have abortions.

What else?

Pope Francis also touched on traditional marriage during the same address:

Today, it is hard to say this, we speak of "diversified" families: different types of families. It is true that the word "family" is an analogical word, because we speak of the "family" of stars, "family" of trees, "family" of animals ... it is an analogical word. But the human family in the image of God, man and woman, is the only one. It is the only one. A man and woman can be non-believers: but if they love each other and unite in marriage, they are in the image of God even if they don't believe.

What about this Argentinian abortion bill?

On June 14, the Chamber of Deputies, lower chamber of the Argentinian Congress, passed a bill widely increasing abortion legalization. Under the new bill, abortion in certain instances would be legal until a woman was nine months pregnant, and girls over 16 would be allowed to get abortions without notifying their parents. The bill would also legally require Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.

Currently, Argentina has some of the strictest laws banning abortion in the entire world.

The bill still must pass the Argentinian Senate, where pro-life groups think that they have the votes to defeat it. However, the same groups thought that they had a majority in the Chamber of Deputies as well.

If the bill passes the Senate, President Mauricio Macri said that he would sign it into law even though he is personally pro-life.

One last thing…
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