Pope urges human rights delegates to end abortion in Europe
Pope John Paul II last week criticised legalised abortion in Europe, urging delegates to a human rights conference to protect 'innocent life in the womb' as a fundamental right.
"There is the paradox that, on the one hand, the need to respect human rights is vigorously affirmed while, on the other, the most basic of them all - the right to life - is denied," the Holy Father told an audience at the Vatican on Friday.
The pope met the heads of some 50 delegations who came to Rome to mark the 50th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"The Council of Europe has succeeded in having the death penalty removed from the legislation of the large majority of its member states," John Paul said. "It is my fervent hope that the moment will come when it will be equally understood that an enormous injustice is committed when innocent life in the womb is not safeguarded."
The president of the European Court of Human Rights, Luzius Wildhaber, said that there have been no abortion-related cases before the court.
"I don't know how the court would react," Wildhaber said.