“Is it just to resort to a contract killer to solve a problem?” he asked, and the crowd shouted: “no”.
Francis’ comments departed from the prepared text for his homily delivered during his weekly audience on Saint Peter’s Square.
“How can an act which terminates a budding life, innocent and defenseless, be therapeutic, civilized, or simply human?” Francis said in his weekly public audience.
In his address, the Argentine pontiff complained of a “depreciation of human life” as he cited wars, exploitation and “a culture of wastefulness” as problems, other than abortion.
The leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics also said parents should not reject sick children.
Even though he is widely considered more liberal than his predecessors, Francis has not changed church teachings on family planning and sex.
This year, he opposed a bill that would have legalised abortion in Argentina.