Pope Francis Calls Abortion ‘Horrific’

Laments 'victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day'

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Pope Francis on January 13, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican.

Pope Francis called abortion “horrific” on Monday, a remark that could assuage conservatives concerned that the new pontiff has struck a softer tone on social issues.

“It is horrific even to think that there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day,” he said in his toughest remarks to date on abortion in his “State of the World” address, Reuters reports.

Though Pope Francis hasn’t changed church doctrine, conservatives questioned his views on abortion in September when he told the Italian Jesuit magazine Civilta Cattolica that the Church needs to shake off its “obsession” with the teachings on abortion, contraception and homosexuality. Since then, Pope Francis has continued to advocate mercy over condemnation.