Richmond, Va., Feb 27, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- Virginia’s two bishops issued a joint statement saying they were “dismayed and outraged” that the state’s two senators voted against passing the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act on Monday evening.
Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington and Bishop Barry Knestout of Richmond said in the statement issued February 25 that is was “appalling” and “beyond comprehension” that the bill could not find unanimous support in the Senate.
“It is a matter of common sense and basic human decency to require, as S. 311 would have, that any health care practitioner present when a child is born alive following an abortion give the same degree of care to preserve the life and health of the child as would be given to any other newborn,” the bishops said.
Virginia is represented in the Senate by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Mark Warner (D-VA). Both of whom voted against invoking cloture during the debate of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act, effectivity sustaining a filibuster.
Kaine, a self-described “traditional Catholic” and the 2016 Democratic nominee for vice president, has regularly supported legislation that would protect a woman’s right to abortion since his election to the Senate in 2012.
Early in his political career, Kaine was considered to be a pro-life Democrat, but his position on the issue has shifted as his career in politics has advanced. In 2016, NARAL and Planned Parenthood Action Fund each awarded Kaine a 100 percent rating in their Senatorial scorecards for his support of abortion.
Kaine has since described himself as being personally pro-life, but that he believes women should have the right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. Warner is a Presbyterian.
Virginia’s bishops as of now have not issued any sort of statement barring Kaine from receiving communion due to his votes in the Senate.
Last year, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, said that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) would not be able to receive the sacrament after the senator voted against a bill that would have banned abortion after the twentieth week of pregnancy.
Kaine also voted against that bill in 2018.