Archbishop Joseph Naumann has decried attempts to repeal the Hyde Amendment, insisting that American taxpayers should not be coerced into funding the killing of unborn babies.
The Kansas City archbishop, who is also the head of the U.S. Bishops Pro-Life Committee, told Catholic News Agency (CNA) Thursday that the government has no business obliging citizens to fund abortion.
“Why should taxpayers pay for something that they find morally objectionable?” he asked.
The archbishop said that overturning the Hyde Amendment — as a number of Democrats have recently proposed — would undo over 40 years of “broad consensus.”
“I think it’s a very important principle that’s at stake here. And it’s something that there historically was broad consensus (on) and both parties had supported,” Naumann said. “So it’s very disappointing to see the extremism now that’s attacking what most Americans would consider a very important principle.”
The archbishop also took issue with political efforts to adopt Planned Parenthood’s mantra that abortion is health care.
“When you’re destroying a human life, this isn’t health care,” he said.
Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden made news last week when he abandoned his longstanding support for the Hyde Amendment, despite his alleged “personal opposition” to abortion. Biden’s swing left on the abortion issue represents a significant change for the 76-year-old politician, who has prided himself on his “moderate” stance.
“I will continue to abide by the same principle that has guided me throughout my 21 years in the Senate: those of us who are opposed to abortion should not be compelled to pay for them,” Biden wrote in 1994. “As you may know, I have consistently — on no fewer than 50 occasions — voted against federal funding of abortions.”
And in his 2007 book Promises to Keep, Mr. Biden wrote: “I’ve stuck to my middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than 30 years.”
“I still vote against partial birth abortion and federal funding,” he added.
Biden’s flip-flop on taxpayer funding of abortion is just the latest step in an ongoing evolution on the issue.
As The New York Times noted, Biden was pro-life when he began his Senate career in 1973 and argued at the time that the Supreme Court had gone “too far” in the Roe v. Wade decision.
While Biden’s embrace of taxpayer-funded abortion may place him more in line with his Democrat opponents, it galvanizes him as a pro-abortion candidate and hurts his standing among pro-life Democrats.
It also undermines his standing with the Catholic Church, in which he claims membership in good standing.
Last week, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput compared Biden’s newfound support for taxpayer-funded abortion to a “silent apostasy” of his Catholic faith.
“The unborn child means exactly zero in the calculus of power for Democratic Party leaders, and the right to an abortion, once described as a tragic necessity, is now a perverse kind of ‘sacrament most holy,’” Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote in his weekly column Monday.
In his article, Chaput observed that Biden’s caving to pressure from his party is not a new thing. Biden, along with other leading Democrats, has abandoned his principles over and over for the sake of political expediency, the archbishop noted.