Once again, Pope Francis reiterated the Catholic Church’s long-held stance on abortion being a gravely evil act that can be performed under no circumstances.

According to Fox News, the Holy Father said the killing of a child in the womb is like “hiring a hitman” to solve a problem, especially if the child shows fetal abnormalities, when giving an address at the Vatican-sponsored “Yes to Life!” conference.

Pope Francis minced no words, going so far as to say the abortion of a child due to disability is “an inhuman eugenic mentality, which keeps families from accepting, embracing, and loving their weakest children.”

“Fear and hostility towards disability often lead to the choice of abortion, treating it as a means of ‘prevention,’” Pope Francis said.

As to those who would say that being pro-life is a religious position, Pope Francis posed two questions that had no religious weight whatsoever. “First question: is it okay to eliminate a human life to solve a problem? Second question: is it okay to hire a hitman to solve a problem?” he said. “This is the point. Do not blame religion for something that concerns the human. It is not lawful. Never, ever eliminate a human life or hire a hitman to solve a problem.”

The Holy Father argued that immorality of abortion existed long before Catholicism, classifying it as a “pre-religious problem.”

The pontiff also rejected arguments that being pro-life is a purely “Catholic” position that should not be imposed on a secular society. “Sometimes we hear: ‘You Catholics do not accept abortion, it is a matter of your faith,’” he said. “No: it is a pre-religious problem. Faith is not the issue. It is not unrelated, but it is not the issue: this is a human problem. It is a pre-religious problem.”

Instead of treating children with disabilities in the womb as problems in need of disposal, Pope Francis said that people should regard them as “small patients” who may indeed be helped by advancements in modern medicine. He called on doctors to resume their role in the world as healers, not death merchants.

“Children in the mother’s womb, if they have pathological conditions, are small patients, who can often be treated with pharmacological, surgical, and extraordinary assistance, capable of reducing that terrible gap between diagnostic and therapeutic possibilities,” the Holy Father said, “which for years has been one of the causes of abortion and the abandonment of care at the birth of so many children with serious pathologies.”

“It is essential that doctors perceive not only the goal of healing but the sacred value of human life, whose protection is still the ultimate goal of medical practice,” he continued. “The medical profession is a mission, a vocation to life, and it is important that doctors be aware that they themselves are a gift for the families entrusted to them.”

Pope Francis has consistently maintained the Catholic Church’s position on abortion throughout his pontificate, previously likening the practice to Nazi eugenics with “white gloves.”

“Today we do the same thing,” he previously said. “Last century, the whole world was scandalized by what the Nazis did to purify the race. Today, we do the same thing but with white gloves.”

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