Contradicting past statements, Biden says he doesn’t believe life begins at conception

Christine Rousselle   By Christine Rousselle for CNA

Joe Biden / lev radin/Shutterstock

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 3, 2021 / 12:01 pm (CNA).

President Joe Biden (D) said on Friday, Sept. 3, that he does not believe life begins at conception – contradicting his previous statements on when life begins.

Biden answered a reporter’s question on abortion on Friday, after addressing the August jobs numbers at the White House. “I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception,” Biden said. “I don’t agree, but I respect that. I’m not going to impose that on people.”

Biden’s declaration that he does not believe life begins at conception is contrary to what he has stated in the past.

At the 2012 vice presidential debate against Republican nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), Biden stated plainly that he believed life began at conception.

“Life begins at conception, that’s the Church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life,” he said. “But I refuse to impose it on equally devout Christians and Muslims and Jews, and I just refuse to impose that on others, unlike my friend here, the congressman.”

Biden said at the time that he does “not believe that we have a right to tell other people that, women, that they can’t control their body. It’s a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the Supreme Court. I’m not going to interfere with that.”

In a September 2008 interview, shortly before he was elected vice president, Biden said that he was “prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 2270 states, “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”

Biden was asked by a reporter to speak to women in Texas, following the state’s pro-life law going into effect on Wednesday. The law bans abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat, which can be as early as the sixth week of a pregnancy. It allows for people to report illegal abortions, and is enforced through private lawsuits.

Biden was asked what, if anything, his administration could do to “protect abortion rights on a federal level.”

The president said that he has been and will continue to be “a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade,” the 1973 Supreme Court ruling which legalized abortion nationwide.

Biden said that the Texas law “sort of creates a vigilante system” which rewards people who report illegal abortions.

“I know this sounds ridiculous, almost un-American, what we’re talking about,” he said.

While the president said that he “respected the views” of people “who don’t support Roe v. Wade,” he emphasized that he did not agree with them. He said that he had asked the Department of Justice to investigate if anything could be done to prevent “independent actions of individuals” enforcing the Texas Heartbeat Act.

“I don’t know enough to give you an answer yet,” Biden told the reporter. “I’ve asked for that to be checked.”

On Wednesday evening, the Supreme Court declined a petition to block the Texas law in a 5-4 decision. The court did not rule on the law itself, but rather refused to grant a stay that would block the law from going into effect.

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett all ruled to deny the abortion providers’ petition to block the law. Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, all dissented from the decision.

The following day, Biden directed his administration to examine “what steps the Federal Government can take to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions.”

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    • My sentiments exactly, Gilberta. Who gives a FRA what this pitiful little old face-lifted cognitively-challenged poor excuse of a Homo sapiens specimen thinks, feels, believes, hopes, knows, etc. He needs a biology class, a theology class, a new brain, and a new country. Maybe God will gift him those in his afterlife.

  1. ‘As a matter of faith’

    As a matter of science.

    Human and alive.

    The pro-aborts hide behind the non-argument of when life ‘begins’ to avoid the forever shifting goalposts of ‘viability’ and ‘value’ as those both require an objective line of demarcation.

    Better to make a declarative statement outside the facts.

    As it soothes Biden’s bishop who continues to give Communion to one who publicly scandalizes the Church and denies its truth outside a ‘private faith’.

  2. I wish a reporter would ask him when and why he changed his belief that life begins at conception, as stated in the article that he professed as recently as 2012.

  3. Biden will say anything for votes as he did 2012 [decision in favor of life upholding TX legislation is Trumps’ great legacy with the Court]. Before that he [Biden] argued on the senate floor 1973 after Roe v Wade that he believed life did not begin at conception [in unison with Sen Ed Kennedy] quoting Saint Thomas Aquinas who believed there’s a measurable hiatus [presumedly a mo or so] between conception and the presence of a soul. Aquinas [all who read my comments know how highly I regard him] however was not a scientist, nor was he given to divinization. He expressed an opinion. It’s the Church that decides and teaches and proclaims life begins at conception; a reflection of the divine will without error [the Church in its wisdom addresses human life not ensoulment]. It’s the rationale, I should add, that it’s the divine intelligence and infinite good of God that influences the Church to teach that the entire process of life, from the moment a man is attracted to a certain woman to death at old age – is a sacred journey of Man created in God’s own image. That is why a man’s glance at a woman can be sinful lust, a form of stealing from her, or benevolent innocent attraction. That is why a man leaves his family and marries a woman and the two become indissolubly one. That is why a married man or woman commits the grievous sin of adultery if they break that bond for another. That is why the person retains his human dignity even if in old age he loses his competence. That is why Amoris Laetitia Ch 8 is not inspired by the Holy Spirit and must be refused.

  4. And the bishops are still debating whether Biden should be able to receive Holy Communion. Not to worry, though, the Eucharistic Coherence statement from the USCCB will provide us with a plan of action! Presumably, we’ll get this magnificenet document in November. Then it will take at least six months for us to grasp its true meaning. But as 2022 is an election year, it would be totally inappropriate to inject the matter into a contentious election cycle. By early 2023, Archbishop Cordileone finally will be ready to confront Pelosi. The Statement certainly will be a dead letter in Cardinal Gregory’s diocese. At that point, Parolin and Francis (let’s hope he is still with us!) will tell us to forget about it. The whole thing is a complete charade.

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