President Joe Biden is a professed Catholic, though he has apparently had a personal epiphany regarding an important tenet of the faith.
According to reports, the president announced this week that he does not believe that human life begins at conception.
“A human life and being”
That statement is not only contradictory to the teachings of the Catholic Church, but it also runs contrary to a statement he made in 2015.
“I’m prepared to accept that the moment of conception is a human life and being,” he said at the time, serving as vice president in the Obama administration.
Of course, he asserted that he did not wish to “impose” his personal beliefs on others, including “God-fearing, non-God-fearing people that have a different view.”
That has been his general position throughout his lengthy political career, thus allowing him to maintain his “devout” Catholic credentials while supporting abortion in line with the rest of his party.
For the record, Catholicism teaches that at “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.”
“But I respect that”
That clear stance, along with his own remarks just a few short years ago, seems to have little bearing on his current position.
During a press event at the White House on Friday, Biden said: “I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception and all. I respect that. Don’t agree. But I respect that.”
Given his open contradiction to Catholic teachings, it remains to be seen how, or if, the church will respond. In the past, there has been some debate over the possibility of church leaders withholding communion to prominent Democrats based on their pro-abortion policies.
The issue has been back at the forefront of American politics in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allows a restrictive new anti-abortion law in Texas to remain in effect.
Biden’s latest remarks came in response to that decision and he is reportedly calling on administration officials and agencies to challenge the statewide law in court. As next year’s midterm elections rapidly approach, it seems clear that abortion will be among the hot-button issues influencing voters across the political spectrum.