Catholic bishops say proposed NJ abortion fund a ‘direct attack’

TRENTON — Some religious leaders in the state have expressed “disappointment and outrage” at New Jersey’s latest push for a proposed law to expand access to abortion.

The nation’s highest court is set to reconsider the landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

“This bill is a direct attack on the dignity and sanctity of life and is further proof that we have failed as a society when a mother feels her only option is to end the life of her child,” a written statement from the Catholic Bishops of New Jersey.

The statement was released following a proposal by Governor Phil Murphy and key Democratic lawmakers for comprehensive insurance coverage and a state abortion fund.

New Jersey has already codified the right to abortion statewide, through legislation enacted four months ago, in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of the 1973 ruling in the Roe versus Wade case.

“New Jersey continues to rank in the top three states for annual abortion procedures nationwide. For these reasons, it is incomprehensible to require New Jersey health insurance providers to cover 100% cost to expand access to these heinous services,” the Bishops’ statement read.

It was signed by the seven most senior men in the state’s Catholic dioceses:

—Cardinal Joseph Tobin of the Archdiocese of Newark
— Bishop Kevin Sweeney, Diocese of Paterson
— Bishop David O’Connell, Diocese of Trenton
— Bishop James Checchio, Diocese of Metuchen
— Bishop Dennis Sullivan, Diocese of Camden
– Bishop Kurt Burnette, Eparchy of Passaic
— Bishop Yousif Habash, Our Lady of Deliverance of the Syriac Catholic Diocese

“For our part, the Catholic Church is committed to opposing this legislation, but more importantly, we are ready to expand and increase awareness of the abundant resources and programs we offer, pregnancy centers and from foster care to clothing, food, housing services, adoption agencies. , family resource centers and national programs such as Walking with Moms in Need,” according to the same joint statement from the bishops.

Our Body Bans rally in Metuchen on May 14 (Tammy Murphy via Twitter)

Our Body Bans rally in Metuchen on May 14 (Tammy Murphy via Twitter)

The statement did not address situations in which continued pregnancy poses real health risks to the mother – as there are no exceptions to the Catholic Church’s anti-abortion stance, including in cases of rape and incest.

A strong majority of Americans in a March Pew Research Center survey said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, although many are open to restrictions.

Nearly half of American adults in the same Pew poll (48%) agreed that there are “circumstances in which abortion is morally wrong but should nonetheless be legal.”

Less than half that number, or 22% of Americans polled, said abortion should be illegal in all situations where they believe it is immoral.

Chicago Roe vs. Wade Pro Life March 2022

CHICAGO, IL – ARCHIVE: Defenders of Life at the annual March for Life on January 8, 2022 (Photo by Kamil Krzaczynski/Getty Images)

Pope Francis talks about bishops and politics

In September, Pope Francis weighed in on a movement to deny communion to pro-choice politicians, including President Joe Biden, who, like Murphy, is Catholic.

The pope repeated that “abortion is homicide”. He also said the bishops are making efforts not to align themselves with “political life,” as America The Jesuit Review reports.

“And what should a shepherd do? Be a shepherd. Do not condemn,” the pope said, according to the same report. “They must be a shepherd, in the style of God, which is closeness, compassion and tenderness.”

Erin Vogt is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at [email protected]

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