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Pope Francis has waded into the abortion debate going on in the US by comparing it to 'hiring a hitman'.
When he stepped onto the global stage as the new Pontifex Maximus, Pope Francis impressed many by appearing to have a more accepting stance on many issues.
He's told parents of LGBTQ kids that God loves them just the way they are and thanked journalists for their part in exposing a series of sex scandals which have rocked the Catholic church.
However, in recent months he's come out with some more controversial and unpopular statements which have clashed with his reputation for being more liberal than his predecessors.
In January he suggested couples that got pets instead of having children were 'selfish', and then in May he blamed NATO 'barking at Russia's door' for Vladimir Putin's bloody invasion of Ukraine.
Now he's marched into the debate on abortion rights sparked by the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade and rob women of their right to an abortion.
Pope Francis has said getting an abortion compares to 'hiring a hitman' and asked whether it was 'legitimate' to take a life to 'solve a problem'.
The Catholic church's official position on abortion is that life begins at conception and therefore any abortion is murder.
US president Joe Biden is a Catholic and called the Supreme Court's decision a 'sad day' for America, he also urged voters to elect more pro-choice candidates in the midterm elections due in November.
The Vatican had earlier praised the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade, with the Pontifical Academy for Life calling it a 'powerful moment to reflect' on the way western society is 'losing passion for life'.
A statement praising the abortion ban also called for better sex education and more support for mothers and babies to better assist the children and their families when they are born.
Millions of women in the US have lost the right to have an abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v Wade.
The nine member court is currently unbalanced in favour of judges with conservative leanings, with six members considered to be conservative in nature and only three liberal leaning justices.
A number of states set off 'trigger bans' after the ruling which quickly introduced laws that heavily restricted a woman's right to an abortion.
Some US states with the right to an abortion protected by the law are setting themselves up as 'safe havens' where women will still be able to go if they need an abortion.
A 10-year-old girl who was a victim of rape recently had to leave her home state of Ohio to get an abortion in neighbouring Indiana.
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