The California Catholic Conference, “the staff office of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops,” has withdrawn its opposition and adopted a neutral position on one of the most extreme pro-abortion bills ever introduced in the California state legislature.

Assembly Bill 2223 would allow anyone to commit abortions, by any means, through all nine months of pregnancy. And even if a baby is born alive, the bill would penalize state authorities who investigate infant deaths, effectively legalizing infanticide. The bill’s author, Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, credits the Conference with helping her craft the language of the bill surrounding “perinatal death.”

The bill has been approved by the assembly and is currently sailing through the state senate committees with the support of the state’s Democrat supermajority.

The California legislature introduced more than a dozen extreme pro-abortion bills this year that would do everything from subsidizing abortion travel to California, to building new abortion clinics in Los Angeles, to recruiting and maintaining an abortion “corps” in the state Department of Public Health.

Assemblywoman Wicks introduced AB 2223 in mid-February. The bill would give legal immunity to a woman and anyone assists her in reaching any “pregnancy outcome,” including “miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion, or perinatal death.” Further, the bill would prohibit a coroner’s report from being used in a criminal prosecution against a mother or someone who assisted her in killing her child.

The California Catholic Conference published its opposition to AB 2223 when the bill went to its first committee hearing on April 6. The bill passed, with the perinatal death reference amended to: “perinatal death due to a pregnancy-related cause.”

 California Catholic Conference’s executive director Kathleen Domingo issued a statement expressing her disappointment that Buffy Wicks had not done more to “clarify” the language surrounding infanticide. “The stated intent of AB 2223 is to ‘prohibit a person from being subject to civil or criminal liability for … a pregnancy outcome.’ The CCC worked with Assemblymember Wicks and her staff to clarify and narrow the bill language to protect innocent newborns and allow coroners to investigate infant deaths; however, we are incredibly disappointed that the imprecise language remains.”

The Conference’s official opposition statement to the bill was shockingly weak:

The California Catholic Conference shares the concerns of Assemblymember Wicks that women not be prosecuted for pregnancy outcomes, including abortion, miscarriage, and stillbirth. Whenever women experience pregnancy loss, whether intentional or unintentional, the caring response of the community is critical in helping women and families heal…

The California Catholic Conference opposes AB 2223 unless amended to redefine or substitute the term “perinatal death” to definitively exclude infant death due to abuse or neglect.


I reached out to Kathleen Domingo on April 6 to ask why the Conference’s opposition statement implied that their opposition was limited to the infanticide aspect. I also asked why the Conference prioritized healing for mothers who kill their unborn children. To be consistent, shouldn’t they also oppose prosecution and support healing for mothers who kill their born children? I received no response.

In response, the California Catholic Conference withdrew its opposition to the bill. Kathleen Domingo released a statement, claiming:

This change definitely closes the door on potential unintended consequences of permitting infant deaths due to abuse, neglect, or abandonment, alleviating the concerns that the CCC brought to the author’s attention…

The California Catholic Conference is grateful to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, and to Assemblymember Wicks and her staff for working with us to clarify and narrow the bill language. The CCC will be removing its opposition to AB 2223 and will remain neutral on the bill….

The above comes from a July 13 story in LifeSite News.