Pope Francis has suggested that women threatened with the Zika virus could use artificial contraception but not abort their fetus, The Associated Press reports.

On his way home from Mexico, the pontiff told reporters there was a clear moral difference between aborting a fetus and preventing a pregnancy.

According to the Associated Press, Francis was asked Wednesday if abortion or birth control could be considered a “lesser evil,” when faced with the Zika-linked cases of rare birth defects. More babies in Brazil have been born with abnormally small heads since the Zika outbreak began last year.

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