A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members; and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn… ― Pope St. John Paul II
With just days to go before the American mid-term elections, President Joe Biden, who continues to claim to be a “devout” Catholic, is leaving no doubt about where he and the Democrats stand on the issue of the legal killing of preborn children.
In a series of recent statements, Biden has vowed that if Americans give control of the House and the Senate to the Democrats, his #1 priority will be to pass and sign into law a bill making abortion a fundamental “right.”
Biden Vows to Codify Roe
“Here’s the promise I make to you and the American people: The first bill that I will send to Congress will be to codify Roe v. Wade,” Biden stated during a speech at a Democratic National Committee (DNC) event on Oct 18. “And when Congress passes it, I will sign it in January, 50 years after Roe was first decided the law of the land.”
In other words, Biden is pledging to return the country to the position it was just a few months ago, before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, with abortion considered a “right” up to the point of viability, and with states unable to protect preborn children prior to that point.
The only problem for Biden, of course, is that right now the Democrats lack the votes in the Senate to pass such a bill. As he noted in the speech, “we’re short a handful of votes,” which is why, he told his audience “you gotta vote.”
Indeed, under the filibuster, the Democrats would need 60 votes in the Senate to pass a bill codifying Roe. Right now, they don’t even have the fifty needed for a majority. One strategy the Democrats have floated to codify Roe, is to get rid of the filibuster. However, at least two current Democrat senators have said that they oppose getting rid of the filibuster. And so, as it stands, Biden and the Democrats lack the power to legislatively codify Roe.
That’s why, immediately after his speech to the DNC, Biden tweeted out that his “promise to the American people” is that if they elect “two more Democratic senators and keep control of the House” then the first bill he will send to Congress will be a bill to codify Roe.
Abortion, the #1 Issue This Election
Our job is to make sure this does not happen.
“We’re only 22 days away from the most consequential moment in our history in my view, in recent history at least,” Biden said in that same speech, “an election where the choice and the stakes are crystal clear, especially when it comes to the right to choose.”
The President is right. This truly is one of the most consequential elections in recent history. I know that pundits say that before every election. But this time, something significant really has changed.
This is the first election in fifty years in which legalized abortion on demand is not the law of the land. At the federal level, there is no recognized “right” to abortion. For the first time in fifty years, individual states have the right to ban abortion. And many states have taken the opportunity to do so, with more likely to follow suit in the coming months.
This situation is intolerable to pro-abortion activists, who have attempted to make abortion the #1 issue of this election. Their hope is to regain the ground they just lost at the U.S. Supreme Court, by getting enough Democrat legislators to reimpose Roe’s extreme pro-abortion regime on the whole country, denying states the right to set their own abortion policy.
And sadly, we have a president and an administration who are doing everything they possibly can to liberalize the law around abortion, and promote more abortions, even up to the point of birth. Recently, for instance, the administration clarified that it will pay for military members living in states where abortion is illegal to travel to more abortion-friendly states to have their children killed.
Biden also recently expressed support for a federal abortion fund, which would cover costs for women to travel and take time off to abort their preborn children.
Bishops Condemn Biden’s Pledge
In response to President Biden’s pledge to codify Roe, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a strongly worded statement.
“The President is gravely wrong to continue to seek every possible avenue to facilitate abortion, instead of using his power to increase support and care to mothers in challenging situations,” said Archbishop Lori. “This single-minded extremism must end, and we implore President Biden to recognize the humanity in preborn children and the genuine life-giving care needed by women in this country.”
The bishop added:
As pastors who deal daily with the tragic impacts of abortion, we know that abortion is a violent act which ends the life of preborn children and wounds untold numbers of women. The Catholic Church wishes to continue in our work with our government and leaders to protect the right to life of every human being and to ensure that pregnant and parenting mothers are fully supported in the care of their children before and after birth.
Bishop Burbidge of the Arlington diocese, which neighbors the Washington Archdiocese, also issued a statement in response to the president’s remarks, noting that he condemns abortion and the President’s pledge to codify Roe.
“Fundamentally, abortion ends the life of a precious child and deeply wounds the child’s mother,” said Bishop Burbidge. “The role of Congress is to pass laws that serve the common good — and yet this priority of the president only brings about pain and death.”
Bishop Burbidge echoed Archbishop Lori’s remarks about the damage being done to women through abortion. “We witness firsthand the wounds women and men endure after ending the life of their child,” he wrote. “It is clear that they deserve better than abortion.”
Catholic Teaching on Abortion Will Never Change
As I have noted often in the past, one of the great tragedies of American politics is that we have so many prominent “Catholic” politicians who are also among the most virulent supporters of the legal killing of preborn children.
And sadly, there are some even within the hierarchy of the Church who would downplay the great evil of abortion, suggesting that it is just “one issue among many.” However, as the whole tradition of the Church testifies, and as recent popes have powerfully reaffirmed, the murder of innocent preborn children cannot be treated as remotely equivalent to other social justice issues.
The mass killing of preborn children is the preeminent moral issue of our time. What we are witnessing is nothing less than the ongoing, industrial slaughter of innocent human beings. And this in the name of “progress.”
Although some seem to be sowing confusion on the matter these days, Pope Francis is extremely clear in Evangelii gaudium, where he writes:
[A]mong the vulnerable for whom the Church wishes to care, with particular love and concern, are unborn children, the most defenseless and innocent among us. Nowadays efforts are made to deny them their human dignity and to do with them whatever one pleases, taking their lives and passing laws preventing anyone from standing in the way of this. Frequently, as a way of ridiculing the Church’s effort to defend their lives, attempts are made to present her position as ideological, obscurantist and conservative.
“Yet this defense of unborn life is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right,” the Holy Father adds. “It involves the conviction that a human being is always sacred and inviolable, in any situation and at every stage of development. Human beings are ends in themselves and never a means of resolving other problems.”
To those who would suggest that the Church might “evolve” when it comes to her teachings on abortion, Pope Francis gives a clear response: “the Church cannot be expected to change her position on this question.” “I want to be completely honest in this regard,” he added. “This is not something subject to alleged reforms or ‘modernizations.’ It is not ‘progressive’ to try to resolve problems by eliminating a human life” (EG, nos. 213-214).
Our Urgent Duty to Defend Life
In his statement, Bishop Burbidge noted that Biden’s plan to codify Roe, “should be met with peaceful, active and staunch opposition from the Catholic faithful and all people of good will.”
We ought to take Biden’s threat to codify Roe seriously. And we cannot underestimate the Democrat Party’s commitment to the abortion industry. Biden has had a clear, undeniable track record on his dedication to enshrining abortion, advancing it at all costs. Biden and the Democrats are the party of abortion on demand, right up to the moment of birth. And they have staked the up-coming election on the “right” to unlimited abortion, using the rhetoric of human rights as a weapon against vulnerable persons, in this case the preborn. They have declared that the preborn have no rights, no legal protection, and may be subjected to violence and death.
We must be united in rejecting this mindset and threat, this evil of our age, asserting that there is no right to abortion, and abortion is not health care – there is no benefit to the preborn child, but only harm and death. “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. From the first moment of his existence a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2270).
As Bishop Burbidge noted in his statement, while overturning Roe “was perhaps the most significant pro-life victory in the last century,” there is still “much work to be done to make abortion unthinkable and support mothers in need.”
On November 8th, Vote Pro-Life
We are called to stand in solidarity with those who have no voice, the most vulnerable. Abortion is an egregious human rights violation, which demands our continual efforts to eradicate. Before us, in this election, is the opportunity to purge our nation of this grave evil, overcome the horrific injustice of abortion, acknowledge the right to life for every preborn child and guarantee their protection under the law. We have the chance to give a voice to the voiceless by electing state and federal leaders who will defend human life, and by rejecting ballot initiatives that would condemn countless preborn children to a premature death.
This is the battle of our time!
“We are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life.’” The truth and message of the Gospel of Life has been placed into our hands. “We find ourselves not only faced with but necessarily in the midst of this conflict: we are all involved, and we all share in it, with the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life” (Evangelium vitae, no. 28).
On November 8, let us unite in truth, stand together in solidarity with the preborn and their mothers, and vote pro-life.