The Biden campaign announced on Monday a panel of co-chairs for its “Catholics for Biden” outreach. Among the Catholics chairing Biden’s Catholic coalition are several politicians who have advocated for laws permitting or promoting abortion, along with the former head of the U.S. bishops’ global relief organization.
Biden, himself a Catholic, has made efforts to win the votes of Catholics in November’s presidential election, especially in the swing states where Catholic demographic groups could be the difference in the election.
The “Catholics for Biden” co-chairs, reported Monday by the National Catholic Reporter, include 2016 vice-presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and several members of Congress.
Kaine, a senator from Virginia, has said that despite his “personal opposition” to abortion, he supports legal protection for abortion, opposes laws that challenge Roe vs. Wade, and opposes efforts to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.
In 2017, Kaine sponsored legislation that would have permanently repealed the Mexico City Policy, which prohibits U.S. foreign aid from supporting global organization that provide abortions or refer women to abortion providers.
While Kaine has supported laws requiring parental consent before minors can undergo abortions, and a prohibition on late-term abortions, the senator has received perfect legislative ratings and endorsements from Planned Parenthood and abortion lobbyist NARAL.
Becerra, California’s attorney general, opposed a bill that would penalize doctors performing sex-selective abortions, and has received perfect ratings from Planned Parenthood and NARAL.
As California’s attorney general, Becerra defended state mandates requiring insurers to cover abortions, even after Catholic nuns complained to the civil rights office of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, and the state faced major cuts to federal HHS funds.
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey, another co-chair, identifies as a pro-life Democrat and has voted for late-term abortion bans, though in 2011 he voted against defunding Planned Parenthood, earning himself a 100% rating from NARAL, a distinction he has matched in several subsequent years.
Illinois Senator Richard Durbin, a U.S. Senator since 1997 and a “Catholics for Biden” co-chair, was in 2004 prohibited from receiving Holy Communion in his home Diocese of Springfield in Illinois because of his support for legally protected abortion; in 2018, Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield said that prohibition remains in effect.
Six members of Congress announced as co-chairs, Reps. Boyle, DeLauro, Kaptur, Lieu, Suozzi, and Vargas have all received 100% ratings from NARAL.
Also among the co-chairs of Catholics for Biden is Dr. Carolyn Woo, who from 2012 to 2016 was CEO of Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops’ conference international humanitarian aid organization.
Biden has pledged to support taxpayer-funded abortion and codify legal abortion in law. His “public option” health care plan would also cover elective abortions. The National Abortion Rights Action League has endorsed his candidacy, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund said they were “thrilled” at his selection of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as his running mate.
Biden has also said that he would repeal new religious exemptions to the contraceptive mandate, which had granted relief to Catholic organizations including the Little Sisters of the Poor. If the exemptions are repealed, the sisters could once again have to appear in court.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.