The Corner

Politics & Policy

Joe Biden’s Absurd Abortion Cop-Out

President Joe Biden speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One to leave Geneva after the U.S.-Russia summit in Geneva, Switzerland, June 16, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

I’m not a Catholic, and so I don’t have much to say on the theological aspects of Joe Biden’s contortions on abortion policy. Yet, this justification has always struck me as especially preposterous.

For starters, modern progressivism is an imposition on personal freedoms that is predicated on a moral doctrine. The Left’s case for the expansion of the welfare state or Medicare-for-all, etc., are also propelled by moral arguments. No one asks what faith or belief system informs that morality. Democrats often refer to budgets as “moral documents.” Is a contemporary leftist offended by the theological arguments undergirding the abolitionist and civil rights movements? I’ve never heard a Democrat complain about Catholicism informing views on the death penalty or immigration. No, only on abortion do Catholic Democrats suddenly embrace the distinction between faith and policy position.

Second, Catholic Democrats such as Joe Biden and Dick Durbin don’t really have any compunction imposing “pro-choice” morality on others — whether it be forcing nuns to chip in for abortifacients under Obamacare or eliminating the Hyde Amendment and forcing pro-lifers to pay for abortions with tax dollars.

“Does the president believe that a 15-week-old, unborn baby is a human being?” a reporter asked Jen Psaki at today’s White House briefing. “Are you asking me if the president supports the right to choose? He does,” she responded. Well, if Biden believes that a 15-week-old, unborn baby is a human being — whether through his Catholicism or through science and reason — and supports “choice,” he is sustaining policies that impose violence on hundreds of thousands of defenseless people.

There is no logical reason, save cynical politics, for Biden to compartmentalize this single issue. Nothing says religion can’t color your political positions. We don’t pass laws banning blasphemy, because they conflict with the First Amendment. If Catholics wanted to compel tithe, that would be one thing. But if your faith tells you abortion is the taking of a life, the political arena is a perfectly legitimate place to try to affect change. The pro-life position, after all, doesn’t conflict with any tenet of American life.

Which isn’t something we can really say for most of progressivism’s doctrinal edicts.

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