President Joe Biden, who claims to be a devout Catholic, said Friday he did not believe that life begins at conception, contradicting a key teaching of the Catholic church.
“I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception and all … I respect that. Don’t agree. But I respect that,” Biden said to reporters after a speech at the White House.
Biden was asked about the new pro-life bill in Texas banning abortions of unborn children in the womb with a heartbeat.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception.”
“From the first moment of his existence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a person – among which is the inviolable right of every innocent being to life,” the Catechism reads.
Biden’s answer shows his mind has changed regarding the Catholic teaching about when life begins, as he discussed it at length in 2015.
“I’m prepared to accept that at the moment of conception there’s human life and being, but I’m not prepared to say that to other God-fearing, non-God-fearing people that have a different view,” he said in an interview.
Biden in 2015: "I'm prepared to accept that the moment of conception is a human life and being." pic.twitter.com/1ZPCVWjxJY
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) September 3, 2021
But Biden indicated Friday he was a strong supporter of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, used to defend a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, but respect those who felt differently.
“I respect people who don’t support Roe v. Wade, I respect their views,” he added.
Biden pointed to a provision of the law rewarding citizens with money for turning in women who had procured an abortion illegally.
“I know this sounds ridiculous, it’s almost un-American what they’re talking about,” he said.
Biden said the Justice Department would investigate the law to limit individuals from enforcing a state law.
“I don’t know enough to give you an answer yet, I’ve asked that to be checked,” he said.