Catholic Leaders Decry ‘Extreme Pro-Abortion Shift’ in Democrat-Run House

Pelosi for Planned Parenthood
Associated Press/Drew Angerer

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives has wasted no time in passing pro-abortion legislation, an “extreme shift” denounced by Catholic leaders.

When the House passed a bill to fund the government last week, it not only omitted financing for a border wall, it also expanded taxpayer funding for abortion.

“They’re making this one of their conditions to reopen the government, which is a pretty extreme position to say, ‘We’re going to force funding, U.S. taxpayer dollars, to promote abortion overseas as part of our foreign policy,’” said Maureen Ferguson, senior policy adviser for the Catholic Association.

“The bill would have ended Trump’s “Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance” policy that blocks taxpayer funds to nongovernmental organizations that perform or promote abortion overseas,” notes an article this week in the National Catholic Register. “It also increased funding by $5 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which Trump had previously cut off due to UNFPA’s participation in coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization in China.”

Many Catholic groups have expressed concern over the “extreme pro-abortion shift” enacted by the Democratic majority in the House, the article stated.

The Democrats’ party platform has become “rabidly pro-abortion,” said Tom McClusky, the president of March for Life Action and pro-life Democrats have become a dying breed in danger of extinction.

“We have seen the number of pro-life Democrats dwindle from, at one point, over 40 to just two: Reps. Lipinski and Peterson,” McClusky said.

Abortion has become so central to the Democrat Party platform, that being a pro-life Democrat sounds like an oxymoron.

“Every Democrat, like every American, should support a woman’s right to make her own choices about her body and her health,” DNC chairman Tom Perez famously said in 2017. “That is not negotiable and should not change city by city or state by state.”

“At a time when women’s rights are under assault from the White House, the Republican Congress, and in states across the country,” he added, “we must speak up for this principle as loudly as ever and with one voice.”

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., one of the two pro-life Democrats and a Catholic, said that he will keep fighting to allow space in the party for pro-lifers.

“They need to stop pushing pro-life Democrats out of the party,” he said. “I faced a very serious primary challenge last time and expect I may face one again, largely based on the abortion issue and the question of whether or not a Democrat can be pro-life.”

Although the Democratic Party’s pro-abortion platform was galvanized in 1992, when the Party refused to allow the late Governor Robert P. Casey of Pennsylvania to give a speech against abortion at its National Convention, it has now become a fundamental pillar of the Party.

The 2016 platform of the Democratic Party was called “the most pro-abortion platform in history,” and the President of NARAL Pro-Choice America Ilyse Hogue praised the 55-page document “far and away the most progressive platform on reproductive health, freedom and justice in the history of the party.”

“We just need to keep speaking out about the horrors of abortion,” Lipinski said, “and that being pro-life is being pro-woman — but politically we may see some tough times in the next couple of years.”

Greg Schleppenbach, the associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that a top priority of the bishops is “to protect all pro-life policies from being repealed or weakened, including the Mexico City Policy, Hyde Amendment and other policies that prohibit taxpayer funding for abortion or its promotion.”

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