Pope Francis has said that leaving migrants travelling on boats to die in the Mediterranean is similar to the "scourge" of abortion.
The pontiff made the controversial comparison - between what he called the "scourge of abortion" and "leaving out brothers to die in the Sicilian Channel" - at a meeting of Catholic scientists at the Vatican.
Other "scourges" classed by Pope Francis as "an attack against life" including euthanasia - as well as malnutrition, terrorism, war and violence.
The Catholic News Agency reported that Pope Francis was addressing a meeting of the Italian Associazione Scienza & Vita (Science and Life Association) when he made the comments.
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