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.
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.”
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.”
Full story at Catholic World Report.