Abortion figured prominently in President Joe Biden’s statement Tuesday in observance of International Women’s Day, again underscoring how his policies toward the unborn conflict with Catholic teaching on the right to life.
“Every person deserves the chance to live up to their full God-given potential, without regard for gender or other factors,” Biden, a Catholic, said in his March 8 statement. “Ensuring that every woman and girl has that chance isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s also a strategic imperative that advances the prosperity, stability, and security of our nation and the world.”
Biden went on to detail his administration’s efforts intended to improve the status of women, including the launch of “a whole-of-government effort to protect reproductive rights.” He concluded with a call to “renew our efforts to advance dignity, equality, and limitless possibilities for all.”
While the Catholic Church strongly advocates for human dignity and equality, it differs sharply with Biden’s stance on abortion.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which summarizes Church teaching, recognizes the inherent dignity and worth of the unborn human person and considers abortion a “crime against human life.”
“Human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception,” the catechism reads. “From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person — among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life.”
For International Women’s Day, pro-life groups, such as the March for Life, stressed that abortion harms women.
“This #InternationalWomensDay,” the group tweeted, “let's remember the estimated 140 million women who are missing around the world as a result of sex-selection abortion.”
According to the United Nations Population Fund, “around 140 million women are believed to be ‘missing’ around the world — the result of son preference, including gender-biased sex selection, a form of discrimination.”
The Holy See Press Office released a letter from Pope Francis on International Women’s Day, in which the pontiff acknowledged the difference that women make in the world.
“Our world today recognized that the dignity and intrinsic worth with which the Creator endowed them be restored to all women,” he said in a March 1 letter addressed to the “Participants in the International Academic Conference.”
Through the example of the female Doctors of the Church and Patrons of Europe, he added, the faithful can see “elements that make up that femininity so necessary to the Church and the world,” including “the courage to face difficulties; the capacity for being practical; a natural desire to promote what is most beautiful and human according to God’s plan; and a far-sighted, prophetic vision of the world and of history.”
Biden touts gender policies
In his statement Tuesday, Biden, the second Catholic to serve as president, listed the creation of the White House Gender Policy Council one year ago among his administration’s accomplishments for women. Last year, he directed the council to “launch a whole-of-government effort” against the Texas law which restricts most abortions after the detection of a fetal heartbeat.
The White House separately issued a fact sheet on March 8 celebrating the council’s first anniversary. The sheet echoed Biden’s statement, stating that the administration “has taken significant steps to advance equal rights and opportunity,” including the launch of “??a whole-of-government effort to protect women’s reproductive rights in the wake of the passage of an extreme and unconstitutional Texas law that severely impairs access to abortion after six weeks.”
Biden’s statement also touted his administration’s National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality, which he described as “an ambitious agenda to support women and families through both domestic and foreign policy.” It also promises to protect “safe and legal” abortion.