Bishops — and the religious community as a whole — across the country were quick to denounce the president's recent executive action on abortion, The Washington Examiner reported.
At a loss for what to do in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade — and facing criticism from both conservatives celebrating the right to life and members of his own party, some of whom are calling for court stacking — President Joe Biden signed an executive order that includes instructions to the Justice Department to ensure women can travel out of state for abortion care, ABC News reported.
"It is deeply disturbing and tragic that President Biden is choosing instead to use his power as president of the United States to promote and facilitate abortion in our country, seeking every possible avenue to deny unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life," Baltimore's Archbishop William Lori said in a statement.
The archbishop urged the president "to abandon this path that leads to death and destruction and to choose life."
"As always, the Catholic Church stands ready to work with this administration and all elected officials to protect the right to life of every human being and to ensure that pregnant and parenting mothers are fully supported in the care of their children before and after birth," Lori said.
The executive order attempts to undo some of the sweeping changes enacted by the court to protect unborn life. Biden said he'll provide leave for federal workers traveling for medical care, and notable companies like Amazon and Starbucks announced expanded health benefits to pay for their employees' travel fees if an abortion is not available near where they live, ABC News reported.
Biden also ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to take "additional action to protect and expand" access to medication abortion, emergency contraception, and IUDs.
But there is no action Biden can take to restore any federal move on abortion after the Supreme Court's sweeping ruling.
As part of the fallout Democrats are facing a backlash from the religious community.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a proponent of abortion rights, met with Pope Francis and received Communion during a papal Mass in St. Peter's Basilica in June.
Pelosi's home archbishop, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, has said he will no longer allow her to receive the sacrament in his archdiocese because of her support for abortion rights, NPR reported. Cordileone, a conservative, has said Pelosi must either repudiate her support for abortion or stop speaking publicly of her Catholic faith.
Several bishops have also stated their support of the barring, but Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., said he does not plan to implement the ban, The Washington Examiner reported.
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