President Biden on Tuesday cited the world's religions in criticizing the leaked Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, saying the ability to "abort a child" should be protected.
Biden's comments came the day after Politico posted a first draft of a Supreme Court opinion that would overturn two precedents: Roe v. Wade and the 1992 Planned Parenthood v. Casey decision that upheld Roe. The opinion, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, currently has a five-vote majority, Politico reported, although that could change before it's officially released prior to its summer break.
Alito's opinion would not outlaw abortion nationwide but would send the issue back to the states.
Biden called the decision "radical."
"Roe says what all basic mainstream religions have historically included – that the existence of a human life and being is a question," Biden said. "Is it at the moment of conception, is it six months, is it six weeks? Is it quickening like Aquinas argued? So the idea that we're going to make a judgment that is going to say that no one can make the judgment to choose to abort a child based on a decision by the Supreme Court, I think goes way overboard."
Pro-life activists, though, said Biden is wrong on his religious argument. Biden is Catholic.
"The president would do well to check the beliefs of his own religion," said Kimberlyn Schwartz, director of media and communication for Texas Right to Life. "Major religions across the globe, along with everyday Americans, believe that preborn children deserve protection and should not be subjected to cruel deaths through abortion. Codification of Roe involves the complete and total enshrinement of abortion with no restrictions until the moment of birth. This idea is fundamentally immoral and widely unpopular with the American people."
Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, noted that the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church says that "life does begin at conception" and that "abortion is the termination of unborn human life and that it is a heinous sin."
In saying women should be able to "abort a child," Biden "accidentally spoke the truth," Mohler said.
"What we see here is the case of a major American politician accidentally speaking the truth. That is exactly what abortion is. It is the abortion of a child," Mohler said on his podcast, The Briefing. "... That is exactly what the Democratic Party and the pro-choice, pro-abortion movement tries to say the issue of abortion is not."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Drew Angerer/Staff
Video courtesy: ©Texas Right to Life
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.