WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops’ pro-life chairman said it is “deeply disturbing and tragic” that President Joe Biden has chosen to use his power as the nation’s chief executive “to promote and facilitate abortion in our country” rather than support resources for pregnant women in need.
Biden is “seeking every possible avenue to deny unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life,” said Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
“Rather than using the power of the executive branch to increase support and care to mothers and babies, the president’s executive order seeks only to facilitate the destruction of defenseless, voiceless human beings,” he stated July 9.
A day earlier, Biden signed an executive order to safeguard access to medication abortion and emergency contraception; protect patient privacy; launch public education efforts; and strengthen “the security of and the legal options available to those seeking and providing abortion services.”
Before signing his executive order, Biden condemned what he called the “extreme” Supreme Court majority for overturning Roe v. Wade. The court’s June 24 ruling came in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a challenge to a Mississippi law banning abortion after 15 weeks.
In affirming the law 6-3, the high court also voted 5-4 to overturn 1973’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized abortion nationwide, and 1992’s Casey v. Planned Parenthood ruling, which affirmed Roe.
The ruling sends the issue of abortion back to the states.
“In response to the Dobbs decision,” Archbishop Lori said in his statement, “I called for the healing of wounds and repairing of social divisions, for reasoned reflection and civil dialogue, and for coming together to build a society and economy that supports marriages and families, and where every woman has the support and resources she needs to bring her child into this world in love.”
“And as religious leaders, we pledged ourselves to continue our service to God’s great plan of love for the human person, and to work with our fellow citizens to fulfill America’s promise to guarantee the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people,” he added.
“I implore the president to abandon this path that leads to death and destruction and to choose life,” Archbishop Lori said. “As always, the Catholic Church stands ready to work with this administration and all elected officials 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.”
Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said Biden’s executive order “confirmed the White House is working to appease the abortion lobby to the detriment of women and their unborn children.”
Tobias said that pro-life legislation “explicitly makes clear that treatment for miscarriages does not fall under the legal meaning of abortion.” In addition, she said, no law exists that outlaws the treatment of ectopic pregnancies.
She added that “the pro-life movement is vehemently opposed to women being prosecuted for having or seeking an abortion. An open letter to state legislators stating the opposition of the movement to the prosecution of women was signed by over 70 pro-life groups.”
European bishops’ group criticizes EU Parliament resolution on abortion
ROME (CNS) — A resolution that passed the European Parliament criticizing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion and calling for inclusion in the Charter of the European Union of a universal right to abortion is part of a “radical political” agenda that threatens basic human rights and the cohesion of the union, said the general secretary of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union. Father Manuel Barrios Prieto, the general secretary, issued his statement July 8, the day after European parliamentarians passed a nonbinding resolution 324-155 to decry the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization June 24 and to propose a new article to be added to the EU Charter saying, “Everyone has the right to safe and legal abortion. We regret yesterday’s adoption of this resolution by the European Parliament, which paves the way for a deviation from universally recognized human rights and misrepresents the tragedy of abortion for mothers in difficulties,” Father Barrios said, speaking on behalf of the commission. “We must work for more unity among Europeans, not create higher ideological barriers and polarization,” he said. And “we must support pregnant mothers and accompany them to overcome their difficulties in problematic situations.” Pushing for a “right to abortion” addition to the EU Charter, he said, would violate the rights of individual EU member countries to write and enforce their own laws. Of the EU members, only Malta has a complete ban on abortion. In Poland, abortion is illegal except to save the life or health of the mother. Other countries, such as Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia, restrict abortion to early in a pregnancy.