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Biden administration works to deny financial aid to pro-life pregnancy centers…

Biden administration works to deny financial aid to pro-life pregnancy centers…
Joe Biden clasps his hands in prayer position during a news conference at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Del., Jan. 6, 2021. (CNS photo/Kevin Lamarque, Reuters)

In October 2023, the Biden administration, through the Department of Health and Human Services, under the direction of Xavier Becerra, continued its unrelenting attack on pro-life family centers. After a failed attempt to deny financial aid to pro-life centers in Oklahoma, the administration now seeks new limits in a proposed regulation, titled “Strengthening Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) as a Safety Net and Work Program” and created by a federal statute.

According to the statute, the TANF Program was created to (1) provide assistance to needy families so that children may be cared for in their own homes or in the homes of relatives; (2) end the dependence of needy parents on government benefits by promoting job preparation, work, and marriage; (3) prevent and reduce the incidence of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and establish annual numerical goals for preventing and reducing the incidence of these pregnancies; and (4) encourage the formation and maintenance of two-parent families.

The Biden administration seeks to deny much needed financial support for pregnancy resource centers that help women after they conceive rather than focusing on pregnancy prevention—that is, on abortion.

Under this proposal,

programs that only or primarily provide pregnancy counseling to women only after they become pregnant likely do not meet the reasonable person standard… [for] preventing and reducing out-of-wedlock pregnancies…. If pregnancy prevention programming is a part of an ongoing program, such as year round after-school programming, only those costs associated with delivery of pregnancy prevention should be cost allocated and non-TANF funds used to fund other activities.

This proposed rule would harm the approximate 3,000 not-for-profit pro-life pregnancy resource centers that freely offer a “full range of services, helping women obtain housing, maternity and baby clothes, baby equipment, pre- and post-natal medical care, legal assistance and financial support, information about adoption, and even advice on how a woman in school can continue her education” by denying them financial assistance.

President Biden, of course, abandoned his previous pro-life position, including support for the Hyde Amendment’s ban on federal support for abortion, many years ago. This proposed regulation highlights Biden’s and his administration’s hypocrisy by ignoring inconvenient truths, especially about the unborn.

The administration claims to rely on science, for example, in supporting the pseudo-religious ideology of its radical extreme green agenda regarding climate warming, crisis, or change, despite the dubious or debatable evidence for such a controversial stance. Conversely, and hypocritically, Biden and pro-abortion advocates ignore medical evidence proving that unborn children are human at conception, persons who feel pain when being killed while living in what should be the safety of their natural environments, their mothers’ wombs.

Biden, however, has claimed that Pope Francis supposedly told him that he is a good Catholic who should continue to receive the Eucharist. And, at the start of 2024, Biden’s deputy campaign manager Quentin Fulks said, in an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press”: “The president has been adamant that we need to restore Roe. It is unfathomable that women today wake up in a country with less rights than their ancestors had years ago…”

It is true that American politicians must often walk a fine line in keeping their faiths from dominating their official duties. But, just as politicians must follow the law, bishops and other leaders are conscience-bound to ensure compliance with Church teachings. This duty is especially crucial when career politicians such as Biden and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi openly flaunt Church teachings while professing to be faithful Catholics.

The late Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, before becoming Pope Benedict XVI, eloquently addressed the duty of politicians facing moral questions in his doctrinal note “Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life”. Ratzinger wrote:

When political activity comes up against moral principles that do not admit of exception, compromise or derogation, the Catholic commitment becomes more evident and laden with responsibility. In the face of fundamental and inalienable ethical demands, Christians must recognize that what is at stake is the essence of the moral law, which concerns the integral good of the human person. This is the case with laws concerning abortion and euthanasia.

Bishops and other Catholics must continue to provide witness to Catholic teachings on the importance of respect for the unborn. They must remind politicians of their obligations to follow Magisterial pronouncements if they wish to present themselves as good and faithful Catholics. When bishops and other leaders fail to admonish politicians who blatantly misrepresent their faiths, they risk sowing confusion among the faithful, possibly causing scandal for believers, let alone less observant Catholics by not “speaking the truth to power.”

Those who correct politicians who ignore Catholic teachings on the fundamental issue of the right to life will be following advice in Pope Leo XIII’s 1890 Encyclical, Sapientiae Christianae, “On Christians as Citizens”. Pope Leo reminded politicians to live consistently, “professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine,” not ignoring Church teachings at their convenience in their official duties by becoming what today are called “Cafeteria Catholics.”

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