During an interview with Reuters published Monday, Francis said he respected the court’s decision but could not say whether it was correct “from a judicial point of view.”
“I tell you the truth. I don’t understand it from a technical point of view,” he said, adding, “I have to study it because I don’t really understand (the details of) the ruling 50 years ago and now I can’t say whether it did right or wrong from a judicial point of view.”
Francis also said it is important to observe what science has learned about abortions in the past few decades.
“In this we have to be scientific, see what science tells us today. Science today and any book on embryology, the one our medical students study, tells you that 30 days after conception there is DNA and the laying out already of all the organs,” he said.
“I ask: ‘Is it licit, is it right, to eliminate a human life to resolve a problem?’” Francis asked in his Reuters interview. “It’s a human life – that’s science. The moral question is whether it is right to take a human life to solve a problem. Indeed, is it right to hire a hit man to solve a problem?”
During a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference in May 2019, the pope similarly asked: “Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem? Is it licit to hire a hit man to resolve a problem?”
He also claimed that a human being is “never incompatible with life.”
In fact, fetal deaths can happen anytime due to problems with the placenta or umbilical cord, infections, birth defects, genetic abnormalities and more.
At the time, Francis said he couldn’t condone abortion even when a fetus is critically ill or likely to die, and implored doctors and priests to support families in carrying such pregnancies to term.
This month, the pope dismissed reports that he plans to resign as the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church.