Wilton Gregory, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., said President Joe Biden is ''not demonstrating Catholic teaching'' after the president last week shared his opinion about when ''life begins.''
Speaking at a press gathering Thursday, Gregory said: ''The Catholic Church teaches, and has taught, that life — human life — begins at conception. So, the president is not demonstrating Catholic teaching."
Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow a restrictive abortion law to go into effect in Texas, the president told White House reporters he did not ''agree'' that life begins at conception. ''I have been and continue to be a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade.
''I respect them — those who believe life begins at the moment of conception and all — I respect that. Don't agree, but I respect that,'' Biden said.
The National Catholic Register, however, was quick to point to Biden's contradiction when he responded to the same question in a 2012 debate with Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. ''Life begins at conception, that's the church's judgment. I accept it in my personal life,'' Biden said.
At the time, Biden added that he does ''not believe that we have a right to tell other people that, women, that they can‘t control their body. It's a decision between them and their doctor, in my view, and the Supreme Court. I'm not going to interfere with that.''
The New York Post said the president had done a ''flip-flop'' on the issue of when life begins. ''I'm prepared to accept that the moment of conception is a human life and being,'' Biden said in a 2015 interview. ''But I'm not prepared to say that to other God-fearing, non-God-fearing people that have a different view.''
The Post also reported about a 2007 interview Biden gave to Tim Russert on NBC's "Meet the Press" in which once again stated his view on when life begins. ''I am prepared to accept my church's view. I think it's a tough one. I have to accept that on faith.''
Following the Sept. 3 U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Texas abortion law, Biden 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. ''I know this sounds ridiculous, almost un-American, what we're talking about,'' he said.
The next day, Biden directed his administration to examine ''what steps the federal government can take to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions.''
On Thursday, the Justice Department sued the state of Texas over its abortion ban, saying the state law is unconstitutional.
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