Yesterday, the Senate voted against a cloture to vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act
that would codify Roe and would make abortion up until the moment of birth legal in all states, and make any restrictions on abortion illegal.
But, this leads to the greater conundrum in our Catholic community in the United States of America, and that is the increasingly non-Catholic viewpoints that our highest elected officials hold. None is more inhumane than abortion that is considered killing a human-life in our Church.
And, while we should be happy that this cloture vote was voted against, it still leaves us to deal with the fact that out of our 25 Catholic US Senators, only 6 are fully Pro-Life in terms of Catholic teaching, while a further 4 are Pro-Life with exceptions such as for rape, incest, or threat to the mother's life, and 2-3 are personally Pro-Life, but Pro-Choice in Law:
Pro-Life Catholic Senators:
- Joe Manchin (D-WV): Catholic; Pro-Life
Jim Risch (R-ID): Catholic; Pro-Life
Marco Rubio (R-FL): Catholic; Pro-Life, with the possible exception of if the mother's life is in danger (probably in line with the Church where indirect abortion is legal; not considered abortion by the Church, but some secular institutions consider it as such)
Mike Rounds (R-SD): Catholic; Pro-Life
Pat Toomey (R-PA): Catholic; Pro-Life
Mike Braun (R-IN): Catholic; Pro-Life
Pro-Life with exceptions Catholic Senators:
Dan Sullivan (R-AK): Catholic; Pro-Life except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the life of the mother
Thom Tillis (R-NC): Catholic; Pro-Life exept in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in danger
John Hoeven (R-ND): Catholic; Pro-Life except for rape, incest, or threat to the mother's life
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): Catholic; Pro-Life except in the case of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk
Personally Pro-Life, but legally pro-choice Catholic Senators:
Tim Kaine (D-VA): Catholic; Personally Pro-Life, but Pro-Choice for the law, except in late-term abortions when mother's life is not at risk
Ed Markey (D-MA): Catholic; Possibly Personally Pro-Life, but Pro-Choice for the law
Bob Mendez (D-NJ): Catholic; Personally Pro-Life, but Pro-Choice for the law
pro-choice Catholic Senators:
- Patrick Leahy (D-VT): Catholic; President Pro Tempore: Pro-Choice
- Dick Durban (D-IL): Catholic; Former Pro-Life, now Pro-Choice
- Patty Murray (D-WA): Catholic; Pro-Choice
- Maria Cantwell (D-WA): Catholic; Pro-Choice
- Bob Casey (D-PA): Catholic; Former Pro-Life, now Pro-Choice
- Susan Collins (R-ME): Catholic; Pro-Choice, but with exceptions
- Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV): Catholic; Pro-Choice
- Kirsten Gilliband (D-NY): Catholic; Pro-Choice
- Mark Kelly (D-AZ): Catholic; Pro-Choice
- Ben Ray Luján (D-NM): Catholic; Pro-Choice
- Alex Padilla (D-CA): Catholic; Pro-Choice
- Jack Reed (D-RI): Catholic; Pro-Choice
This vote may signal a victory for Catholics, but it really signals a weak point in the Catholic Church and that is our inability to communicate our views to our members, and our inability to have truly Catholic representation. Catholic countries are increasingly allowing abortion and Catholic politicians in the US and elsewhere are increasingly moving toward the pro-choice position. It is becoming so bad that the cop-out of being personally Pro-Life, but pro-choice in law like President Biden used to claim is now becoming too controversial for many in the governing capitals around the world, especially in Washington, D.C.
What Catholics are failing to understand is that the Church is against abortion because We are for the baby to live. As Catholic British Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg said in an interview on Good Morning Britain with Catholic Piers Morgan
as the host, he opposes abortion fully, and he outlined how this topic is completely different than same-sex marraige. He stated, "With same-sex marraige, that is something people are doing for themselves. With abortion, it is something that is done to the unborn child."
Now, obviously the Democratic Party is largely the pro-choice party and the Republican Party is largely the Pro-Life party, but this is concerning that out of the 10 Catholic Republicans, 4 have exceptions to the rule to appeal more moderate, as if moderation makes killing the baby okay, and 1 is pro-choice. Of course, there are rare cases of indirect abortion within the teachings of the Catholic Church that can provide for this exception, but these Republicans are not even personally opposed to the exceptions outside of the Church's exception, rather, they actually support these exceptions that are outside of the Catholic Church's exceptions both personally and legally!
With regards to the 15 Catholic Democrats, outside of Joe Manchin and maybe the personally Pro-Life crowd of 3 (Tim Kaine, Bob Mendez, and maybe Ed Markey), it is very concerning that so many feel the need to become pro-choice. Many Catholic Democrats were Pro-Life growing up, but they cave in due to political pressures. They have decided that political power and their political party are more important than God's Church, God's Law, and God's creation, human life. This is very concerning that a political party has basically openly made it hostile to hold Catholic beliefs and still be a member of the party. The Republican Party has some non-Catholic elements as well, but when it comes to the pre-eminent issue, Republicans are with the Church.
Democrats who are Catholic should find strength in organizations like Democrats for Life of America and Senator Joe Manchin. These are the Catholics you can model after. You can be Democrat, and in fact, it often appears many of America's bishops are, but also support your necessary Catholic views like being Pro-Life.
Many legally pro-choice and personally Pro-Life Catholics will state how they wish to not impose their religious belief on the country, but by not doing so, they are not enshrining the right to life upon millions of Americans just like them and are failing to up-hold the American ideals to the "right to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness". They may have a point when it come to other socially non-Catholic laws, but this, the death penalty, and euthenasia are the only laws that directly lead to the death of a person. Plus, it is merely an ad hominem attack for people to use against Pro-Life Catholic politicians because there are many laws in line with the Catholic Church that the USA has, and this does not mean that the USA has these laws because the Catholic Church has made their representatives decide so. Therefore, this is not a case of a lack of separation of Church and State, just like Methodists campaigning for the abolition of slavery did not make the abolition of slavery an issue of the separation of Church and State.
Many will rightfully bring up the pain and suffering of a mother in pregnancy, but it does not appear that these votes are for this rightfully thoughtful reason, rather, as seen in 2019 when the Republican Senators tried to pass a bill that would make it illegal for doctors to not try and save the life of an infant born after an abortion
and all Democratic Senators, except for Catholics Joe Manchin and Bob Casey, plus Doug Jones (Methodist), voted against this bill, and it ultimately lost. If the baby is already out of the womb, why would you not protect it then as it no longer is providing a threat other than for economic and convenience reasons? The answer seems to be painstakingly clear, and that is because many Democrats are merely pro-choice from an economic and convenience reason, rather than a serious health conern reason. Plus, no matter what, abortion causes pain on the baby and seeks to end the life of the baby, whereas other treatments do not seek pain, suffering, or death.
Lastly, there is a lie that a majority of Americans are for Roe v. Wade to stay put. The truth is that that number never fully represents the millions of Americans who are being born and the fact that almost all Americans were Pro-Life at the time they were born. Plus, it is debatable already as it is a very contextually based question.
The next step according to pro-choice sources
is to seek a compromise of this bill that is more moderate on abortion. It will seek support from flimsy Republican Senators on this issue like Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins, as well as possibly Joe Manchin. This is very concerning that these Catholics might flip to the pro-choice side on a more moderate vote, because already, the simple repeal of Roe v. Wade
is moderate enough as it simply just allows the states and other jurisdictions to decide for their own. Therefore, if these Catholic Senators seek moderation, which they should not and instead promote Pro-Life protection for all people in all states in the US, then these Catholic Senators should simply just allow the repeal of Roe v. Wade
Nonetheless, the issue continues and that is that abortion is the killing of another human, and unlike most other laws, this is an act in which if done, affects another person, instead of just affecting one-self. Therefore, it is imperative that these Catholic Senators and all Catholics high in governing positions all around the world use their collective power to push for Pro-Life policies. If the American Catholics did, this issue would already be solved and the USA would be a Pro-Life nation.
Luckily, there is hope things are changing among Catholic US Senators, just by looking at how all Catholic Republicans voted against the cloture, and one Catholic Democrat did too. This means one pro-choice Catholic US Senator, Susan Collins, already has proven that she can be Pro-Life as well. We must seek to work on converting our own Catholic community into actually believing our Faith and promoting in practice.
Hopefully, prayers will be answered so that more Catholic leaders will become Pro-Life, because as it stands among Catholic US Senators, Catholics themselves are not even very Pro-Life.