VATICAN CITY -- Pope John Paul II condemned Tuesday what he called a growing practice of screening unborn children for genetic defects and then aborting them if malformations are found.
"It is not right to discriminate against human beings according to genetic defects revealed before or after birth," John Paul said. He said there was a "serious discrepancy" between the expanding ability to diagnose malformations before birth and the treatments to cure them.
"This poses serious ethical problems to families who need moral support to accept a new life, even when it is affected by a defect or malformation," the pope said.
The pope made the remarks in a speech to the Pontifical Academy for Life, a body formed to discuss ethical issues in line with Roman Catholic church opposition to abortion.