The images and videos in the ad are from the 2016 trip.
Biden’s use of the nuns’ example of service for campaign purposes sits in contrast to his pledge to force one religious order to violate their consciences and provide birth control, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs to their employees.
Shortly after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania on July 8, Biden said he was “disappointed” by the decision and promised to reinstate Obama-era policies requiring the sisters to ensure access to birth control in violation of their religious beliefs.
Following nine years of legal battles, and two trips to the Supreme Court, the court upheld an executive action offering the sisters religious freedom and conscience exemptions to the “contraception mandate” issued by the Department of Health and Human Services following the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
“If I am elected I will restore the Obama-Biden policy that existed before the [Supreme Court’s 2014] Hobby Lobby ruling: providing an exemption for houses of worship and an accommodation for nonprofit organizations with religious missions,” said Biden in July.
“This accommodation will allow women at these organizations to access contraceptive coverage, not through their employer-provided plan, but instead through their insurance company or a third-party administrator.”
The Little Sisters of the Poor would not have qualified as a “nonprofit organization with a religious mission” under the Obama-era accommodations. The order serves and employs people of all or no faiths, in accordance with their vocation to serve the elderly poor.
The Little Sisters of the Poor have repeatedly stated that authorizing a “third-party administrator” to provide birth control to their employees is still a violation of their beliefs and is not an acceptable compromise.
Following the July 8 decision, Biden said that the decision “will make it easier for the Trump-Pence Administration to continue to strip health care from women--attempting to carve out broad exemptions to the Affordable Care Act’s commitment to giving all women free access to recommended contraception.”
When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law in 2010, the legislation did not mandate that insurance plans provide at least one form of female contraception, including sterilization. The “contraception mandate” was announced as an interim final rule on August 1, 2011, and was finalized on January 20, 2012.
If elected president, Biden said that he would “end Donald Trump’s ceaseless attempts to gut every aspect of the Affordable Care Act.”
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
Biden did, however, support members of the Leadership Council of Women Religious (LCWR) groups after the Vatican ordered an inquiry into their conduct and political advocacy.
During a 2011 meeting with then-Pope Benedict XVI, Biden told the pontiff that he was being “entirely too hard on the American nuns” and that he needed to “lighten up.”
The video is not the first time that Biden, who has promised to enshrine the fullest application of Roe v. Wade in federal law, ensuring unlimited access to abortion in the United States, has used his Catholicism in his campaign.
In February, he released a video displaying black-and-white pictures of himself with various religious figures, including Pope Francis.
“Personally for me, faith, it’s all about hope and purpose and strength, and for me, my religion is just an enormous sense of solace,” he added.
“I go to Mass and I say the rosary. I find it to be incredibly comforting,” he said.