A few days ago, Democrats in the House of Representatives voted to approve what many pro-life leaders are saying is the most extreme pro-abortion piece of legislation ever passed.
In a typical example of the perverse genius of pro-abortion activists and politicians disguising the brutal reality of abortion behind an impenetrable fog of euphemism, the bill is called the Women’s Health Protection Act of 2021 (WHPA).
In reality, of course, the bill has nothing at all to do with protecting women’s health. Quite the contrary, it would inevitably result in widespread physical and psychological harm to many women, as well as the deaths of innumerable unborn girls (and boys).
In brief, the bill would impose abortion on demand nationwide, at any stage of pregnancy, through federal statute, and would eliminate pro-life laws at every level of government. It would also force Americans to support abortions here and abroad with their tax dollars.
Moreover, it would likely force health care providers and professionals to perform, assist in, and/or refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, and would compel employers and insurers to cover or pay for abortion.
In an analysis of the bill, Melanie Israel with The Heritage Foundation notes, “The bill would effectively repeal existing state laws, expressly prohibit future laws that regulate abortion and the abortion industry, and place at risk long-standing federal policies that reflect more than 40 years of bipartisan consensus.”
Israel warns, “Despite claims that it simply codifies Roe v. Wade, the bill mandates an abortion regime that would be far more radical than the status quo. … [The bill] would reverse decades of emerging bipartisan consensus on abortion and replace that consensus with the Left’s radical policy vision.”
So Much for “Safe, Legal, and Rare”
The fact that every Democratic representative but one in the House voted for this repugnant piece of legislation tells you everything that you need to know about the current state of the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party is not simply “pro-choice,” as they would have us believe, they are truly pro-abortion.
As poll after poll has found, Americans – even those who call themselves “pro-choice” –are generally not comfortable with abortion, and widely support restrictions on abortion in the second and third trimesters. Knowing the unease that many Americans have with the killing of unborn children, over the years Democrats have professed that their goal is to make abortion “safe, legal, and rare” – a catchphrase that is designed to create the impression that the Democrats are in the “moderate middle” on the issue.
And yet, while claiming a desire to make abortion “rare,” Democrats have consistently proposed policies that, if enacted, would vastly expand the number of abortions. For instance, instead of finding ways to support women with unplanned pregnancies and help them to keep their children, Democrats consistently support more and more public funding for abortion, removing all abortion restrictions, no matter how reasonable, and praising abortion somehow as a good, brave, moral act.
Obviously, if “pro-choice” politicians actually wanted abortion to be “rare,” they would allocate considerable resources for pregnancy care centers, or prioritize funding for adoption, ensuring that every woman has the resources she needs to bring her unborn child into the world confidently. Instead, in most cases the money goes exclusively towards extreme pro-abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood, which performs more and more abortions every year, while facilitating fewer and fewer adoptions, despite the huge number of couples waiting to adopt.
Rep. Chris Smith, one of the most strongly and heroically pro-life legislators in the House, reacted to the latest bill with horror. “This bill is far outside the American mainstream and goes far beyond Roe v. Wade,” he said in a statement just prior to the vote. “This bill constitutes an existential threat to unborn children and to the value of life itself.”
“For the first time ever, by Congressional statute, H.R. 3755 would legally authorize and enable the violent death of unborn baby girls and boys by dismemberment, decapitation, forced expulsion from the womb, deadly poisons, and other methods at any time and for any reason until birth.”
Clearly, there is nothing moderate about such a bill. And it would do nothing at all to make abortion “rare.”
The ‘Personally Opposed’ Lie Exposed
Just as this extreme bill exposes the lie behind the Democrats’ “safe, legal, and rare” canard, so also does it expose the lie behind another favorite line consistently fed to us by our self-professed “Catholic” pro-abortion politicians: that is, the claim that while they “personally” oppose abortion, they prefer not to “impose” their views on others.
Tragically, two of the most powerful politicians actively supporting the bill are self-professed Catholics. One is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has championed the bill, and prioritized it for a vote. The other, of course, is President Joe Biden, who constantly claims to be a “devout” Catholic, and who is constantly referred to as such by the mainstream press.
A few weeks ago, Pope Francis was asked about the issue of abortion during an in-flight press conference. In his answer, he did not mince words. “Abortion is more than an issue,” he said. “Abortion is murder.”
Abortion, without hinting: whoever performs an abortion kills. You take any embryology textbook of those students that study in medical school. At the third week of conception, at the third, many times before the mother notices, all the organs are already there. All of them. Even the DNA….
It’s a human life, period. This human life must be respected. This principle is so clear. And to those who can’t understand it I would ask two questions: Is it right, is it fair, to kill a human life to solve a problem? Scientifically it is a human life. Second question: Is it right to hire a hitman to solve a problem? … Scientifically it’s a human life. The textbooks teach us that. But is it right to take it out to solve a problem? This is why the Church is so strict on this issue because accepting this is kind of like accepting daily murder.
It is true that in the same remarks, Pope Francis also stated that he would not deny Holy Communion to any Catholic who presents him or herself for Communion. That is a stance that clearly differs from that of Pope Benedict, who as cardinal had clearly expressed his belief that pastors had a duty, in keeping with canon law (no. 915), to deny Communion to those in manifest grave sin – such as Catholic politicians who publicly support and advance abortion.
This subject’s serious nature and its impact upon Catholics and the common good has prompted some archbishops and bishops to speak out.
For example, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix in Veneremur Cernui, an apostolic exhortation on the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, says that “Holy Communion is reserved for those, who with God’s grace make a sincere effort to live this union with Christ and His Church by adhering to all that the Catholic Church believes and proclaims to be revealed by God.” This is why the Church “requires Catholic leaders who have publicly supported gravely immoral laws such as abortion and euthanasia to refrain from receiving Holy Communion until they publicly repent and receive the Sacrament of Penance.”
In a column on Eucharistic coherence, Archbishop Samuel Aquila of Denver wrote that “the Eucharist is a gift, not an entitlement, and the sanctity of that gift is only diminished by unworthy reception. Because of the public scandal caused, this is especially true in the case of public officials who persistently govern in violation of the natural law, particularly the pre-eminent issues of abortion and euthanasia, the taking of innocent life, as well as other actions that fail to uphold the church’s teaching regarding the dignity of life.”
It is obvious that no such Catholic can possibly present himself for Holy Communion in good conscience. As the Holy Father said, “abortion is murder.” The corollary is that any politician who promotes and advances abortion is complicit in the murder of unborn children. If such an action, carried out by someone who is aware of the Church’s teaching and who nevertheless rejects it, does not incur the punishment of excommunication, I don’t know what does.
And clearly, anyone who supports the kind of radical bill I am discussing here can’t claim to be a “devout” Catholic without being laughed off the stage.
As Pelosi’s own bishop, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, said in a recent statement and reported by Live Action, “Any reasonable person with a basic sense of morality and inkling of decency cannot but shudder in horror at such a heinous evil being codified in law.”
“It is especially shameful that any self-professed Catholic would be implicated in such an evil, let alone advocate for it. … This proposed legislation is nothing short of child sacrifice, and clearly in reaction, among other things, to the recently passed Texas Heartbeat bill.… Indeed, H.R. 3755 is surely the type of legislation one would expect from a devout Satanist, not a devout Catholic.”
“A devout Satanist.” Those are strong words. Unambiguous words. Hard words.
But they are true words. Abortion is an extraordinarily grotesque violation of everything that is good and sacred. The child in his mother’s womb is a precious gift. The mother’s role is to welcome, nurture, and protect that child. The father’s role is to support and protect the woman bearing his child. And it is the role of all of us to create the social and political conditions necessary to ensure that every single child, born and unborn, is loved and protected.
The Women’s Health Protection Act is a monstrous attack on the common good. It now goes to the Senate for a vote, where it is expected to fail – but only by a slim margin. Please write or call your Senator today, and urge them to vote against this diabolical bill, which would wipe out practically all of the progress made by the pro-life movement since Roe v. Wade.
And let us respond to Archbishop Cordileone’s urgent call to fast and pray for the “conversion of heart” of pro-abortion congressional representatives, especially Speaker Pelosi. The archbishop invites “all Catholics to join in a massive and visible campaign of prayer and fasting for Speaker Pelosi,” and asks us to “commit to praying one rosary a week and fasting on Fridays for her conversion of heart.” I would extend the archbishop’s request to also include U.S. senators and judges, as well as President Biden.