President Joe Biden on Friday continued to slam the new Texas abortion law that thjis week was allowed to stand by the U.S. Supreme Court, saying he doesn’t agree with the Catholic teaching that life begins at conception.
The position looks to be a striking shift from the one he espoused some six years ago.
Biden, during a press conference, ripped the law as “un-American,” and said it creates a ”sort of vigilante system” because the ban is to be enforced by citizens who can sue anyone who may have aided in an abortion.
He also instructed the Department of Justice to examine whether it could limit the action of citizens enforcing the law.
The law bans virtually all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually at about the sixth week of pregnancy.
“I have been and continue to be a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade, number one,” the president said when he was asked about his message to women in Texas. “And the most pernicious thing about the Texas law, it sort of creates a vigilante system where people get rewards to go out to — anyway.”
He added: “I was told there are possibilities within the existing law to have the Justice Department look and see whether there are things that can be done that can limit the independent action of individuals in enforcing a federal — a state law. I don’t know enough to give you an answer yet; I’ve asked that to be checked.”
Democrat critics of the Texas law and the high court’s ruling fear it is a step toward undoing the abortion protections established in the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade. Meanwhile, governors in several Republican-led states have expressed interest in exploring some duplicaiton of the Texas legislation in their own jurisdictions.
Biden — the second Catholic president in the nation’s history — in 2008 and 2015 spoke about the moment life starts, saying he thought it was at conception.
“I’m prepared to accept that at the moment of conception there’s human life and being,” he said he said during an interview in 2015, though he did add that “I’m not prepared to say that to other God-fearing, non-God-fearing people that have a different view,”
In 2008, he also said: “I’m prepared as a matter of faith to accept that life begins at the moment of conception.”
Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Archdiocese of San Francisco on Friday told The Conservative Digest the hot-button issue is ”not something that’s religiously specific. It’s not a religious doctrine. It’s a matter of fundamental human rights and fundamental moral issues.”