The Wider World

Bishops, Biden and abortion

PRO-LIFE and pro-choice activists await the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion access in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 27, 2016 (Shutterstock).

The Roman Catholic Church is a strong opponent of abortion. President Joe Biden, a life-long Catholic, supports abortion rights. Are the two in conflict?

On Friday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted 168 to 55 in favor of drafting what’s called a “teaching document” which some feel is aimed at rebuking the president.

According to the Associated Press, the voting and discussion took place virtually. Backers of the move say it is in response to Biden’s actions to protect access to abortion services. Critics say it could give the bishops the image of being a partisan political group.

According to public opinion polls and party platforms, Republicans have supported restricting or banning abortions and the overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling legalizing the procedure based on a Fourth Amendment “right of privacy.”

Democrats have generally been “pro-choice,” defending the right of women to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy. Biden has said he opposes abortion but did not want to impose his opinion on others.

In the past, some bishops have advocated for banning Biden or any other political leader from receiving communion – a principal sacrament of the church – if they support abortions.

The draft is expected to come back to the group in November for a final vote.

300 million shots so far, but not 70%

Close, but not quite?

President Joe Biden has announced a goal of having 70 percent of American adults receiving at least one shot of the coronavirus vaccine by July 4. So far the figure is only 65 percent.

“What we’ve got is a truly American accomplishment,” said Biden on Friday, according to USA Today. “Sixty-five percent of American  adults have gotten at least one shot, including 87 percent of adult Americans. Just five months ago we were at only 5 percent of adult Americans.”

Resistance to or hesitancy about the vaccine has been especially concentrated in rural areas, especially among culturally or politically conservative people.



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