This week, President Joe Biden falsely claimed the Catholic Church is less strict on abortion than Republican members of Congress in an attempt to criticize South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s “Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act.”
To condemn Graham’s bills and Republicans’ “extreme” position on abortion, Biden asserted that the allegedly less-extreme Roman Catholic Church allows exceptions for abortions in the case of rape and incest. “My generic point — and I happen to be a practicing Roman Catholic — my church doesn’t even make that argument now,” Biden said during a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York City. “And so we’re in a situation where things have changed a lot. But they’ve gotten more extreme in their positions.”
Biden’s statement is demonstrably false. The Catholic Church not only makes no exception for rape and incest, it goes even further than Graham’s 15-week ban, teaching that abortion is morally wrong from the moment of conception. Never has the Catholic Church budged on this ancient teaching.
Furthermore, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) endorsed Graham’s bill. “I support your efforts with the ‘Protecting Pain-Capable Unborn Children from Late-Term Abortions Act’ to protect the right to life of unborn babies from 15 weeks’ gestation,” wrote Archbishop William E. Lori, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, in a letter thanking Graham for his bill.
“The Catholic Church remains clear and consistent in asserting that true justice demands the right to life, the most basic human and civil right, for every child, from conception onward,” Lori said. “No person or government has the right to take the life of any innocent human being, regardless of its stage of development.” Lori also added that the USCCB “strongly agree[s] that there is a federal role for protecting unborn human life.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly states, “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.” Furthermore, the Catechism declares, “Formal cooperation in an abortion constitutes a grave offense. The Church attaches the canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.”
It is this teaching that many bishops point to when denying pro-abortion politicians Holy Communion. For example, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone has said he would no longer administer the sacrament to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on account of her radical, anti-Catholic abortion agenda.
Over the years, Biden seems increasingly confused in his Catholic faith, flip-flopping on when he believes life begins. In the 2012 vice presidential debate, he said “life begins at conception, that’s the Church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life,” but he refused to “impose” this view on others.
However, in September 2021 Biden said he did not believe human life begins at conception, after reaffirming his allegiance to the now-overturned Roe v. Wade decision. Then, after Roe was overturned earlier this year, Biden issued an executive order to circumvent state laws and promote unlimited abortion.
In response, Archbishop Lori slammed Biden’s use of executive power “to promote and facilitate abortion in our country, seeking every possible avenue to deny unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life,” as “deeply disturbing and tragic.” Even Pope Francis came out to publicly condemn Biden’s support for abortion as “incoheren[t]” with his faith.
Democrats have made abortion a top issue this election cycle, hoping that outrage over the recent Supreme Court Dobbs v. Jackson ruling will help them in November. Once again, cynical Joe Biden is putting politics and power ahead of his Catholic faith. It may or may not pay off politically, but it definitely won’t when he meets the man upstairs.