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Defending Roe, Biden claims religions don’t say when life begins, despite Catholic teaching

Katie Yoder   By Katie Yoder for CNA

President Joe Biden turns to reporters at the White House in Washington May 1, 2022, as he walks towards Marine One en route to Minneapolis. (CNS photo/Elizabeth Frantz, Reuters)

Washington D.C., May 3, 2022 / 12:18 pm (CNA).

President Joe Biden asserted Tuesday that no “mainstream” religion claims to know when human life begins, contradicting his Catholic faith.

Biden made the statement while addressing a leaked draft of a Supreme Court opinion signaling that justices will overturn Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

“Roe says what all basic mainstream religions have historically concluded, that the existence of a human life and being is a question,” Biden told reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. “Is it at the moment of conception? Is it six months? Is it six weeks? Is it quickening, like Aquinas argued?”

According to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), the Catholic Church’s pro-life position has remained consistent from the beginning. St. Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century drew from Aristotle, including his theory that the rational human soul is not present at the start of pregnancy, the USCCB says. But, at the same time, the saint rejected abortion as gravely wrong at every stage, calling it a sin “against nature” to reject God’s gift of life.

“Quickening” refers to the stage when a woman is first able to notice her baby moving in the womb.

Biden also referred in his remarks to the baby in the womb as a “child,” a term abortion supporters generally avoid.

“The idea that we’re going to make the judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child based on a decision by the Supreme Court, I think, goes way overboard,” Biden said.

“If this decision holds, it’s really quite a radical decision … It’s a fundamental shift in American jurisprudence.” You can watch Biden’s full interview in the video below.

Late Monday night, Politico published a 98-page draft majority opinion written by conservative Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. in the closely watched Mississippi abortion case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The document states, “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

The Supreme Court confirmed the draft’s authenticity the following morning, when Chief Justice John Roberts announced the opening of an investigation into the leak suggesting Roe will be overturned.

The president, who identifies as Catholic, supports abortion, which the Catholic Church teaches is a grave evil that destroys a human person with inherent dignity and worth.

“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception,” the catechism of the Catholic Church reads. “From 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.”

Biden has given conflicting statements over the years about when he believes life begins.

“I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception,” Biden said in September. “I don’t agree, but I respect that. I’m not going to impose that on people.”

Yet 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, an earlier statement issued on Tuesday, outlined his plans to protect abortion.

“If the Court does overturn Roe, it will fall on our nation’s elected officials at all levels of government to protect a woman’s right to choose,” the president said. “And it will fall on voters to elect pro-choice officials this November.”

“At the federal level,” he added, “we will need more pro-choice Senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation that codifies Roe, which I will work to pass and sign into law.”

His administration, he said, “argued strongly before the Court in defense of Roe v. Wade.”

“I believe that a woman’s right to choose is fundamental, Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned,” he said.

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  1. About the most charitable thing I can say about Biden for public consumption is that he is ignorant about what the teachings of the Catholic Church are. So it’s no surprise that he’d nominate for the Supreme Court someone who could not even define what it means to be a woman. God knows she’d be at a total loss when it comes to defining what a human person is.

    I’ll make one last comment about Joe Biden by quoting a friend of mine who once said in reference to another context: ” I feel like I’ve been parachuted into a Fellini movie.”

    • Like our bishops would care about the desecration of the Eucharist? When they had a chance to vote to stop it, they voted close to unanimity to ignore it and think about more important things like what’s on the menu for lunch.

  2. That’s the guy Cardinals Cupich and Tobin, along with other hirelings, pushed. He was the “seamless garment” candidate, a man of character, a guy they can talk with. Never forget who turned the Catholic vote in 2020 …. Bishops for Biden!

    • Absolutely, JPf!

      Let’s look at their seamless garment now…

      Offsetting the scores of millions of abortions that Biden has sponsored, we are now able to also enjoy the slaughter in Ukraine, a record-high inflation rate, a reduction in the standard of living of Americans, emboldened enemies worldwide, China in ascendancy cornering the international energy markets, a collapse of our southern border leading to record numbers of overdose deaths, record numbers of police being murdered, record numbers of murders of African Americans, indoctrination of school children, record high energy prices, empty store shelves, food shortages, exploding rates of serious crime in cities all across the country — and I could go on.

      So, by viewing abortion in context, we get the bonus of being able to watch while the Democrats turn the greatest country in the world into New Venezuela.

      Any other brilliant wisdom to offer, Cupich? Clearly whatever spirit is inspiring you is not in the least holy.

  3. Although Biden has an argument regarding general ambiguity on when life begins, the reality is that infants are killed in the womb numbers vary below 1 million per year. The figures exclude the increased use of abortifacients. If we’re concerned about the value of human life, considering the high numbers worldwide the question when life begins is less of an issue [although it remains significant]. Most abortions occur when they’re signs of life.
    Kathy Yoder CNA examines the teaching of Catholicism that life begins at conception, which Biden dismisses, not as his personal belief, which he personally confirms, rather as a rationale for imposition on others who don’t hold to that belief. His argument does address the issue within the parameters of civil justice. Although, if one does believe that an act is evil, at least wrongful on such a literally vital issue of justice, it would also require that our conviction, if it’s not simply nominal assent, not be judged in accord to consensus. Democracy, if we hold to that reasoning of a consensus justice may permit any act regardless of its immorality. In other words we become amoral, which is actually becoming the state of things in the US. There comes a point, if we are to retain a semblance of humanness that we must hold the line.

      • If the Mother of God identifies herself as the Immaculate Conception, we know God’s creative intent for each life begins at conception, the anti-religious bigotry of Francis’s “good Catholic” notwithstanding.

        Next question.

    • “Although Biden has an argument regarding general ambiguity on when life begins”

      Biden doesn’t have an argument, he has a POSITION. He’s a politician, not an academic.

      That aside, we know that when the sperm fertilizes an egg, it is now a unique new organism that left, unperturbed by human action or infirmity develops into a recognizable child. Each and every person alive passes through these developmental phases.

      No honest, informed observer would deny this, absent the fact that conception and gestation imposes responsibilities on the very people that caused that conception often find inconvenient and wish to evade.

      Biden is an insufferable liar. Before his decline, he wasn’t terribly bright. Shrewd and covetous, yes.

      • “Unperturbed by human action” – do you consider the mother’s womb supplying nutrients and the like to be human action? I feel like it’s an easy argument to say the “unperturbed state” is where the mother’s body does not do anything. Supplying nutrients is literally perturbing the system which is what leads to growth. The unperturbed state is stopping the inputs, which is equivalent to the aborted state where the fetus will not develop. Note I am only asking about your definition of that term and am not trying to make any claims about morality or correctness.

  4. Message for Commissar Biden: It is science even before religion that informs us when human life begins. Open your prayerfully closed eyes and check it out.

    And as for being the law of the land for almost fifty years, slavery was the law of the land for a bit longer. Dred Scott can breath a little easier now that the 1973 Supreme Court train wreck is finally being put back on track. But, we can leave it to Biden to set us on course for another civil war…

  5. What is clear from the coverage so far, it’s the screaming hatred coming from the satanic left! This shows that where the culture of death comes from and unless Joe, Nancy etc repent that is where they will be going to!!!! Fr Ripenburger always states that demons scream the loudest before they’re cast back to hell during exorcisms!

  6. It’s a very weak faith when the false shepherd keeps his head in the sand and doesn’t have the guts to separate the goats in the flock. You may lose of lot of CINOs (Catholic in name only), but the ones that are left will be the true warriors. Christ never looked for numbers, just the faithful elect. Biden and Pelosi represent a large percentage of what Catholics look and think like today…… doesn’t matter what you do, there are priests out there that will say at your funeral that you are in heaven. Unfortunately, they will then hear the words of Jesus..”I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers.” Matt. 7:23

  7. Weldone America for sinking the world because you were first given power by God. Indeed, when you undermine the true sacrifice of the Mass, you are inevitably going to promote the sacrife to demons through abortion

  8. Our faith is not something we keep to ourselves, but is meant to be shared. Biden’s notion of not imposing what he believes the Catholic Church to hold has no secure grounding.

  9. First of all, the need to defend a ruling that was based on a lie admitted by lady Roe herself, who is now a Christian and defends prolife, shows the idiocracy of this President. To say that “religion doesn’t claim to know when human life begins” shows that clearly he doesn’t read the bible. Jer 1:1 reads, Before I formed you in the womb I knew you… His obvious contradictions of what he once believed and now doesn’t shows that he is just a mere puppet for the “demon”crats. He is as fake as a two headed nickle. I sure hope that those who voted for him is now waking up.

  10. The very idea of Biden proclaiming himself knowledgeable about Catholic teaching was ridiculous when this article first appeared 7 months ago. With a tad of seasoning – it has now matured into pathetic.

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