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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is urging bioethics experts from around the world to take up his call that protecting the unborn from abortion is just as important as caring for the poor, the sick and migrants.

Francis cited his recent document on holiness, where he put care for the unborn on equal footing as care for society’s outcasts, during a speech to a Vatican conference on global bioethics Monday.

He said: “When we consign children to deprivation, the poor to hunger, the persecuted to war and the elderly to abandon, aren’t we doing the dirty work of death?”

He called for Christian teaching to take up his call for an integrated ethics about human life that doesn’t focus just on the morality or legality of abortion, but broader life issues.