Worse Than Roe!
A NOTE FROM OUR PUBLISHER: Congress must reject the Orwellian ‘Women’s Health Protection Act.’
With the demise of Roe v. Wade — the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion through all nine months of pregnancy nearly 50 years ago — seemingly within reach, efforts are underway by both the pro-life community and the radical abortion lobby to prepare for a post-Roe world.
While much of the action being taken so far is at the state level, the U.S. Senate is poised to vote on the misleadingly named “Women’s Health Protection Act.” If truth in advertising was a requirement in naming bills, it would be called “The Abortion On Demand Until Birth Act.”
Supporters of this legislation have characterized it as an attempt to simply enshrine Roe into federal law. As tragic as that would be, the stark reality is that this bill would go way beyond that, gutting even the most basic protections for women and their unborn babies.
Bluntly, this is far worse than Roe.
This is the most extreme piece of abortion legislation to ever receive a vote in the U.S. Senate.
What would it do? This bill would nullify every single state law regulating abortion. That includes state laws that limit painful late-term abortions and laws that prohibit abortions from being performed because of the race, sex or condition of the child. It would even end basic informed-consent laws that ensure that mothers have all the relevant information before choosing an abortion.
Despite public polls consistently showing strong support — 71% of Americans and nearly half of Democrats — for limits on abortion, particularly during the second and third trimesters, the Senate is moving full steam ahead.
But the truth about the grave evil of abortion and the consequences for both the child and the mother are undeniable. Every abortion ends at least one life and wounds another.
Catholic politicians who willingly and enthusiastically champion the availability and practice of abortion are living contrary to the teaching of the Church.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear about the necessity to preserve the dignity of life (2270): “Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. 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.”
The Catechism later describes that it is not just the procurement of abortion that is a grave offense, but, indeed, as explained in 2273, “[t]he inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation. … The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”
Could it be any clearer? Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has been unequivocal about the evil of abortion, likening it to the “white-glove” equivalent of Nazi eugenics programs and to people who hire a hitman “in order to solve a problem.” It couldn’t be clearer.
Yet, despite strong rebukes of the “throwaway culture” by Pope Francis himself, far too many Catholic politicians — and others — continue to pursue policy and political agendas that offend the basic dignity of the human person.
In a stirring message to the United Nations less than two years ago, Pope Francis said that, “[a]t the origin of this ‘throwaway culture’ is a gross lack of respect for human dignity, the promotion of ideologies with reductive understandings of the human person, a denial of the universality of fundamental human rights, and a craving for absolute power and control that is widespread in today’s society. Let us name this for what it is: an attack against humanity itself.” Amen.
The crux of the abortion lobby’s agenda is not just a total devaluation of the dignity of every human life, it is the pitting of mothers against their children — flipping the understanding of the most fundamental human relationship on its head. It is utterly false to claim that children are an impediment to women’s flourishing, that the only solution to an unexpected pregnancy is abortion, and that “unwanted” babies are better off dead. Catholics and pro-life people must unite to forcefully dispel these myths.
So where do we go from here? For starters, we must resist this specific bill and any of its subsequent iterations, and we must hold politicians accountable when they claim to be Catholic but then support such horrific legislation.
But building a culture of life is not just about opposing deadly policies. It’s about showing how the Church supports women and their babies from conception with the resources and tools needed to help mothers take care of their babies — and thrive.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Pro-Life Activities Committee, sent a letter to senators this week ahead of the vote that I believe provides a road map for American Catholics looking for bold leadership.
In one particularly memorable section, they write, “Answering the needs of women by promoting taxpayer-funded elective abortion, as this bill would do, is a failure to love and serve women. Offering free or low-cost abortions, instead of the resources needed to care for her child, is not ‘choice’ but coercion. It communicates to a mother in need that there is no hope for her or her child and perpetuates injustices that drive mothers to end the lives of their children. As a nation built on the recognition that every human being is endowed by its Creator with the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we must reject this bill and embrace public policy that fully respects and facilitates these rights and needs of both mother and child.” Again, I say amen.
We are at a critical turning point in our struggle to protect life. We cannot falter. We cannot allow all our progress to be wiped out. This legislation must be defeated — for the good of humanity.
May God bless you.