President Biden says ‘not big on abortion’ but campaigns with strong abortion message

President Joe Biden President Joe Biden speaks about the economy at the Old Post Office in Chicago on June 28, 2023. | Credit: ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden cited his Catholic faith at a campaign fundraiser Tuesday for a reason why he is “not big on abortion” but at the same event said he would try to “bring back” the now-overturned abortion-on-demand Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.

As the country enters further into election season, abortion remains an extremely divisive issue — one that has remained a point of constant criticism for the 80-year-old president who often touts his support for abortion on demand while attempting to reconcile his position with the Catholic faith, with which he repeatedly claims to identify.

At the campaign fundraiser in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on Tuesday, Biden said that “Roe v. Wade got it right” while calling himself a “practicing Catholic.”

“So I’m — you know, I happen to be a practicing Catholic. I’m not big on abortion. But guess what? Roe v. Wade got it right,” he said. 

“Roe v. Wade cut in a place where the vast majority of religions have reached agreement. Historically, the first three months or thereabouts, in all major religions, was: That’s between a woman and her doctor. The next three months is between — I mean, just a woman and her family. Next three months is between a woman and her doctor. The last three months have to be negotiated, because you can’t — unless you are in a position where your physical health is at stake — you can’t do it,” he said.

Responding to the president’s remarks on Wednesday, Chad Pecknold, associate professor of systematic theology at the Catholic University of America, said that Biden is full of contradictions.

“It’s a great thing that President Biden says he’s ‘not big on abortion’ as a practicing Catholic. Unfortunately, he contradicts the Church, himself, as well as basic morality, logic, and history in what follows,” Pecknold told CNA.

“The Church has opposed abortion as murder for 2,000 years, and as a result much of Western civilization has, too,” he added.

“Even the judges in Roe understood that their decision was historically novel, and they knew that their argument would stand or fall on the question of whether a fetus is a human person.”

“It’s high time that Mr. Biden recognizes that Roe has been overturned and that the faith he claims to practice contradicts him,” he said.

“There can be no right to kill innocent life, and he should acknowledge that abortion is not only a mortal sin but that it should also be recognized as a crime against humanity. A practicing Catholic could do no less,” Pecknold said.

DOD abortion policy

When asked Wednesday what he thinks about Alabama Republican Sen. Tommy Tuberville’s opposition to the U.S. Department of Defense’s financial coverage of abortion travel for service members, Biden said that the legislator “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

Tuberville has for months refused to cooperate in approving the promotions of more than 200 military officers, citing the Pentagon’s “illegal” abortion travel policy. 

The travel policy, which took effect in March, would multiply the amount of taxpayer-funded abortions by 205 times compared with the previous year, Tuberville’s website says, citing a “third-party study.”

“I will keep my hold until the Pentagon follows the law [or] Congress changes the law. That’s the way we do it here in the Senate,” Tuberville said on the Senate floor June 15. 

“EWTN News Nightly” White House Correspondent Owen Jensen asked Biden on the South Lawn Wednesday morning for his response to Tuberville’s blockade.

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“He’s not budging, as I understand from my colleagues. It’s totally inappropriate. It’s outrageous,” Biden said.

Jensen followed up and said: “But he says the Defense Department should not be paying for abortion travel. Your response?”

“He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Biden said.

March for Life President Jeanne Mancini said in a statement Wednesday that “President Biden supports the most extreme abortion agenda that our country has ever seen: abortion on demand, up until birth, and paid for by American taxpayers, with no protections for the unborn whatsoever.”

“His actions make this clear — such as his support for the deceptively named Women’s Health Protection Act, which actually goes way beyond Roe’s extreme regime, his attempts to eliminate the Hyde Amendment, and his administration’s taxpayer-funded abortion mandates in federal agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs,” she said.

“These disturbing measures violate the will of an overwhelming majority of Americans who want legal protections for our nation’s youngest citizens.”

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Determined to ‘bring back Roe’

At the campaign fundraiser on Tuesday, Biden said he is “determined to bring back Roe v. Wade,” adding that his “objective to do that is to get the states — half the states to decide that, because now the [Supreme] Court said, you know, it’s [a] state issue.”

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, said in a statement that “Joe Biden is the most pro-abortion president with the most pro-abortion administration in history.” 

“Don’t take our word for it, look at his record. The idea that Roe v. Wade set any meaningful gestational limits on abortion is false and debunked,” she said.

“Indeed, under Roe the United States was (and still is) one of seven nations including China and North Korea that allow abortion on demand for any reason after five months of pregnancy. Biden also supports legislation that would block virtually every law in the country, state or federal, protecting unborn children,” she added.

“If he is backtracking from the extreme no-limits position of the Democratic Party, it’s because that position is deeply unpopular.”

Lila Rose, the founder and president of Live Action, said in a statement that “children will live because of the decision to overturn the constitutional fiction of Roe v. Wade.”

“In America, over 63 million children have died at the hands of the abortion industry since Roe restricted the ability of communities to protect innocent lives almost 50 years ago. Overturning Roe was an important step forward for the protection of innocent life in our nation, but the work of the pro-life movement is just getting started,” she said.

Rose said that science proves that life begins at the moment of fertilization and every child “regardless of their age” should be protected from abortion.

“Going forward, the pro-life movement must advocate for the Supreme Court to grant equal protection under the law to all humans, even from the very beginning of every human’s life,” she said.

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