Biden promises legal abortion nationwide in State of the Union address — By: Catholic News Agency

President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address during a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber at the U.S. Capitol on March 7, 2024, in Washington, D.C. / Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Mar 8, 2024 / 14:05 pm (CNA).

President Joe Biden on Thursday night promised to support a law that would legalize abortion nationwide in response to the repeal of Roe v. Wade two years ago.

The president said during his 2024 State of the Union address that if he is reelected — and if Congress is in control of pro-abortion politicians — he will restore the nationalized abortion standards that were established in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. 

“If you, the American people, send me a Congress that supports the right to choose, I promise you I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again,” Biden said. 

The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, allowing states and the federal government to substantially restrict abortion for the first time in about five decades.

Democratic lawmakers introduced the Women’s Health Protection Act last year to codify Roe’s abortion standards into federal law. The proposed bill would prohibit states from restricting abortion after the point of viability, which is when the preborn child can survive outside of the womb. 

The bill fails to impose a specific week-based limit to define viability, which pro-life advocates have warned could allow abortionists to define viability any way they want, effectively legalizing abortion until the point of birth. 

Biden criticized former President Donald Trump for appointing three of the six justices who voted to overturn Roe. 

“My predecessor came to office determined to see Roe v. Wade overturned,” Biden said. “He’s the reason it was overturned and he brags about it. Look at the chaos that has resulted.”

“Those bragging about overturning Roe v. Wade have no clue about the power of women but they found out when reproductive freedom was on the ballot,” the president added. “We won in 2022 and we’ll win again in 2024.”

Biden also referenced Kate Cox, who was in attendance as a guest of First Lady Jill Biden. Cox was denied an abortion in Texas but aborted her preborn child in another state. The child had been diagnosed with the genetic condition trisomy 18. Only about 5%-10% of babies born with this condition will live past their first birthday. 

“There are state laws banning the freedom to choose, criminalizing doctors, forcing survivors of rape and incest to leave their states to get the treatment they need,” the president said during his remarks.

Several pro-life organizations criticized the president’s claims about abortion.

“Democrats tell pregnant mothers they can’t succeed in life and have their child, but when they encounter the loving support of the pro-life safety net made up of thousands of pregnancy centers and maternity homes nationwide, time after time they realize they can,” Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said in a statement, referencing the work of pro-life pregnancy resource centers.

“Now the Biden-Harris administration wants to take that support away and push them toward one option as the cure-all — abortion on demand at any time for any reason, even brutal late-term abortions when babies feel pain,” Dannenfelser added. 

Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a new rule that would prevent pregnancy resource centers from accessing funds through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. 

Chelsey Youman, the national legislative adviser for the pro-life Human Coalition Action, accused Biden and congressional Democrats of “hijacking what should be a moment of national unity to promote the mass death of children in the womb.”

“The plight of vulnerable women seeking abortion should be off limits for politicization, yet President Biden wants to use the killing of an innocent child with disabilities to boost his chances of reelection,” Youman said. 

“This is horrifying. Women like Kate Cox need and deserve care and support — not to be used as props for the abortion industry.”

Biden and Republicans embrace IVF 

Notably, both Biden and Republicans on Thursday espoused support for the medical practice of in vitro fertilization (IVF) — the president through his address and the Republican Party in its response.

The president pointed to another guest, Latorya Beasley, who had one child through IVF and had intended to have a second child through IVF. Her plan to undergo the procedure the second time was delayed after numerous IVF clinics paused the procedure following the recent Alabama Supreme Court ruling that human embryos are covered under the state’s Wrongful Death of a Minor Act. 

“What her family has gone through should never have happened,” Biden said. “Unless Congress acts, it could happen again. So tonight, let’s stand up for families like hers. To my friends across the aisle, don’t keep this waiting any longer. Guarantee the right to IVF. Guarantee it nationwide.”

Alabama Sen. Katie Britt, in the Republican response to the address, nearly mirrored the president’s message on IVF. 

“We want families to grow,” Britt said. “It’s why we strongly support continued nationwide access to in vitro fertilization. We want to help loving moms and dads bring precious life into this world.”

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill on Thursday that provides IVF clinics with immunity from criminal or civil action when damaging or destroying embryonic human life, effectively bypassing the state supreme court’s ruling last month.

IVF is a fertility treatment opposed by the Catholic Church because it separates the marriage act from procreation and destroys embryonic human life. Through IVF, doctors fuse sperm and eggs to create human embryos. While some are implanted and ultimately born, most are either destroyed or frozen indefinitely. Millions of preborn children have been killed or indefinitely frozen through IVF since the 1980s. 

Acknowledging the advances in science available today to those seeking help having children, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops warns Catholics on its website of the ethical issues involved.

“The many techniques now used to overcome infertility also have profound moral implications, and couples should be aware of these before making decisions about their use,” the guidance reads.

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