A New Low for Joe

A NOTE FROM THE PUBLISHER: The president’s recent remarks on abortion after the leaked Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health were blatantly false.

President Joe Biden addresses the 40th International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International Convention at McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, Illinois on May 11, 2022.
President Joe Biden addresses the 40th International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) International Convention at McCormick Place convention center in Chicago, Illinois on May 11, 2022. (photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty)

In the wake of the unconscionable leaking of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s draft decision that would overturn Roe v. Wade, the response from pro-abortion-rights politicians and their supporters has been deplorable. 

President Joe Biden’s words and actions have been particularly disturbing, given the office that our nation’s so-called “devout Catholic” president occupies and his frequent public claims to be deeply engaged with his Catholic faith.

Biden reaffirmed the primacy of his pro-abortion credentials in an initial White House statement released the morning after Politico published Alito’s draft. Instead of decrying the leak as a direct and premeditated attack on the independence of the American judiciary, as any U.S. president committed to the rule of law ought to do, the statement completely ignored the consequences of this potentially disastrous assault on the integrity of the court. Claiming that “a woman’s right to choose is fundamental,” the presidential statement asserted that “basic fairness and the stability of law demand that [Roe] not be overturned.” It also detailed some of the executive and legislative actions that Biden has initiated recently in support of abortion rights and pledged to be “ready when any ruling is issued” to undertake additional pro-abortion political maneuvers.

The president delivered some less-scripted May 3 remarks shortly afterward, presumably after having reflected further upon the moral and religious issues in play through the prism of his Catholic beliefs. Instead of supporting Alito’s cogent legal arguments, which align with the truth about the immorality of abortion that the Church has taught with unbroken continuity for nearly 2,000 years, Biden rambled incoherently that “all basic mainstream religions have historically concluded — that the right — that the existence of a human life and being is a question.” 

In support of this blatantly false statement regarding religious beliefs, the president argued that St. Thomas Aquinas was implicitly accepting of abortion during early pregnancy because of his ponderings over when the soul is infused in the body. Biden’s argument here is completely ludicrous. That’s because St. Thomas advised that whenever “ensoulment” might take place, abortion is always gravely wrong at every stage of pregnancy because it is a deliberate rejection of the divine gift of a new human life.

Biden’s comments then became even more bizarre. Directly contradicting his own ridiculous argument that abortion isn’t immoral since it can’t be known whether a life has actually commenced, he shockingly stated, “I mean, so the idea that we’re going to make a 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.”  

In other words, according to Biden, it’s completely acceptable to “choose” to deliberately kill what he himself characterizes as a “child.” The only thing that would be “way overboard,” with respect to the fate of this defenseless human being, is a legal decision by the Supreme Court that denies such killings are a constitutional right. It’s important to note the unbridgeable gap between this presidential endorsement of deadly violence within the womb and Pope Francis’ recent condemnation of abortion as being comparable to “hiring a hitman” to solve a problem.

But wait. There is still more.

The president has adopted a flagrantly anti-democratic stance in opposition to returning abortion law to the authority of individual U.S. states — where it resided before the Roe decision invented a constitutional “right” to abortion in 1973 by claiming that for more than a century it somehow had been residing invisibly within the wording of the 14th Amendment. “I’m not prepared to leave that to the whims of the public at the moment in local areas,” Biden said in his May 3 comments. 

This hypocritical discarding of America’s democratic ideals, in hopes of salvaging Roe, caught the attention of even the reliably pro-abortion-rights Washington Post. In an op-ed article the newspaper published on May 7, columnist Jason Willick commented that it’s “puzzling” when abortion proponents such as Biden rail against Alito’s allegedly undemocratic intervention into abortion law, given what will actually result should Alito’s draft opinion come into force. “Life-tenured, unelected federal judges would lose their authority over a contested part of American life, and the menu of policy options for voters to choose from would expand dramatically,” Willick pointed out.

Perhaps most revealing of all, in terms of underlining how quickly Biden casts aside his supposed dedication to his Catholic faith whenever that conflicts with defending abortion rights, is his ongoing refusal to condemn the wave of pro-abortion protests targeted against Catholic churches and liturgies and the homes of the high court’s Catholic judges in the wake of the leaked Alito draft opinion. 

The abortion extremists organizing these events make no effort to conceal their intense anti-Catholic bigotry. “Whether you’re a ‘Catholic for Choice,’ ex-Catholic, of other or no faith, recognize that six extremist Catholics set out to overturn Roe,” the pro-abortion group “Ruth Sent Us” tweeted on May 3, appealing for protests during the upcoming Mother’s Day weekend. Later in the week the group warned that it would be “burning the Eucharist” to express its hatred for Catholicism.

Ahead of the planned demonstrations, faithful Catholics and other pro-life voices called on the president to denounce protests directed against Catholic individuals and institutions. But speaking May 6 on Biden’s behalf, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki communicated the president believes the protests are perfectly appropriate so long as they don’t become violent. She also highlighted that “the president — for all those women, men, others who feel outraged, who feel scared, who feel concerned — he hears them, he shares that concern and that horror of what he saw in that draft opinion.” 

Even after a string of ugly events ensued, Biden and Psaki still declined to rebuke abortion activists for specifically targeting Catholics, although he did condemn the May 8 Molotov cocktail attack and vandalism on the Wisonsin Family Action’s headquarters in Madison. The reason Biden finds it impossible to reject anti-Catholic demonstrations isn’t hard to discern. For crass political motives, it’s far more important for him to placate the abortion lobby heading into what is expected to be a brutal midterm election for his party than it is to uphold the rights of his fellow Catholics to live and worship in peace.

In sum, Biden’s performance in the immediate aftermath of the leaking of Justice Alito’s draft opinion represents a new low for the president with respect to abortion. Yet it’s only the latest step in what has been an incremental, decades-long abandonment of the pro-life Catholic principles he once claimed to uphold as a young and newly elected U.S. senator at the time the Roe decision was delivered. 

Biden’s abortion advocacy remains a continuing grave scandal each and every time he positions himself more deeply into the morass of dissent from what the Church teaches on the sanctity of unborn human lives. So alongside of our continued prayers for an end to all abortions, we need to pray for the president’s reversion to his former pro-life convictions.

God bless you!

Ivan Aivazovsky, “Walking on Water,” ca. 1890

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