Jeb Bush tells pope to focus on 'mercy for the unborn': Women should be 'repentant' for choosing abortion
Jeb Bush speaks to Fox News (screen grab)

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush suggested this week that women should repent after having an abortion if they wanted God to forgive them.

During an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, host Martha MacCallum asked the GOP hopeful if he was surprised by Pope Francis' new rules that would allow priests to forgive women who have had abortions.

"Look, I think we could all use a lot of mercy in this world," Bush agreed. "And the pope is a loving person, and having absolution -- [allowing] the priest to give absolution is extraordinary, but I'm not surprised at all."

Bush, who is Catholic, argued that the people should "also focus on mercy for the unborn, the hundreds of thousands of babies that will die."

"I think we need to have a society that protects life from the beginning to end, and we should be a repentant society for sure," he explained. "And mercy should be at the heart of everything we do."

Watch the video below from Fox News, broadcast Sept. 1, 2015.