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Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Senate Vote on Abortion Bill ‘Appalling’

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan blasted the Senate’s failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, calling the vote a rejection of “common sense.”
Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan blasted the Senate’s failure to pass the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, calling the vote a rejection of “common sense.”

“The U.S. Senate’s failure to adopt the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, prohibiting abortions at 20 weeks post-fertilization, is appalling,” Dolan said in a statement on Monday. “Abortions performed in the second half of pregnancy usually involve brutally dismembering a defenseless unborn child, while also posing serious dangers to his or her mother.”

The Senate bill, which required a three-fifths majority to pass, received 51 yea votes and 46 nays. Among the nay votes were a remarkable number of Catholics, including former Vice-Presidential candidate Tim Kaine, Maria Cantwell, Susan Collins, Catherine Cortez Masto, Dick Durbin, Kirsten Gillbrand, Heidi Heitkamp, Patrick Leahy, Ed Markey, Claire McCaskill, Bob Menendez, Lisa Murkowski, Patty Murray, and Jack Reed.

During the campaign, Kaine often boasted of his Jesuit education and Catholic credentials, insisting that he was a devout Catholic, despite his public support for abortion on demand.

At the time, one senior prelate, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, urged voters to “be wary” of Kaine, calling him a “cafeteria Catholic” who picks and chooses from Church teaching according to its political expediency. Kaine, the Archbishop said, used “contorted reasoning” to support legal abortion while pretending to be against it.

Kaine goes beyond mere acquiescence and “appears eager to champion not only maintaining the status quo, but actually expanding abortion rights,” the Archbishop noted.

In his statement Monday, Cardinal Dolan, who is chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said that the Senate had distanced itself from the American people with its vote.

“The Senate’s rejection of this common-sense legislation is radically out of step with most Americans,” Dolan said. “Opinion polls consistently show that a strong majority of the public opposes late-term abortions—including those who self-identify as ‘pro-choice.’”

The cardinal also noted that the allowance of abortions after 20 weeks of gestation places the United States in a rogue’s gallery of nations known for their trampling of human rights.

“Furthermore, the United States is currently one of only seven countries that allows abortions beyond 20-weeks. The other six are North Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Canada and the Netherlands. The Senate must rethink its extreme stance on late-term abortions,” he said.

“I call upon the public to tell the Senate that this vote is absolutely unacceptable,” Dolan concluded.

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