President Biden’s executive order supporting abortion access “is deeply disturbing and tragic,” and walks a “path that leads to death and destruction,” one of the top Roman Catholic pro-life voices said in a statement this weekend.
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Mr. Biden has decided “to promote and facilitate abortion in our country, seeking every possible avenue to deny unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life.”
Mr. Biden, often described as a “devout Roman Catholic” in media reports, issued an executive order Friday directing Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to detail how the agency intends to “protect and expand access to abortion care, including medication abortion.”
The order also calls upon HHS to “otherwise protect and expand access to the full range of reproductive healthcare services.”
The moves come after the June 24 Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling and returned to the states decisions about the legal status of abortion.
Weeks of protests have followed, including numerous vandalism and arson attempts at Roman Catholic churches and pro-life pregnancy centers.
Following the decision in the Dobbs case, Archbishop Lori said he “called for the healing of wounds and repairing of social divisions, for reasoned reflection and civil dialogue, and for coming together to build a society and economy that supports marriages and families, and where every woman has the support and resources she needs to bring her child into this world in love.”
But Mr. Biden, he said, has chosen a different direction.
“Rather than using the power of the executive branch to increase support and care to mothers and babies, the president’s executive order seeks only to facilitate the destruction of defenseless, voiceless human beings,” Archbishop Lori wrote.
The archbishop went on to “choose life” and “abandon this path that leads to death and destruction.”
“As always, the Catholic Church stands ready to work with this Administration and all elected officials to protect the right to life of every human being and to ensure that pregnant and parenting mothers are fully supported in the care of their children before and after birth,” Archbishop Lori said.
Mr. Biden’s election in 2020 as the second Roman Catholic to serve as U.S. president drew increased attention to his faith.
Although some U.S. bishops wanted to issue a document on the Eucharist in which Catholic politicians who support abortion are denied the Sacrament, the eventual statement omitted such language.
The president has regularly received the Eucharist in Washington, D.C., and in Delaware.
Despite saying Mr. Biden “is not demonstrating Catholic teaching” on abortion, Cardinal Wilton Gregory has not ordered parishes in the Archdiocese of Washington to deny him the Sacrament.
On Oct. 29, after a 90-minute meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican, Mr. Biden told reporters the pontiff said he could continue to receive the Eucharist.
“We just talked about the fact that he was happy that I was a good Catholic and … keep receiving communion,” Mr. Biden said at the time.