TRENTON (LifeSiteNews) – New Jersey Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy claims his decision to sign a law codifying a “fundamental right” to abortion does not compromise his professed Catholic identity, despite the Church’s unambiguous teachings against the shedding of innocent blood and the “grave offense” of abortion.
Bill S49/A6260 “codifies the constitutional right … recognized by the New Jersey Supreme Court, to freedom of reproductive choice, including the right to access contraception” and “to terminate a pregnancy.” All current and future policies must “conform” to its “provisions and the express or implied purposes,” lest they be “subject to invalidation.”
“This would allow for abortions at any time and for any reason, up until birth,” as well as allow “non-physician healthcare professionals to perform abortion services” and potentially “force New Jersey’s healthcare workers with moral, religious, or ethical objections to perform or participate in abortions,” the New Jersey Catholic Conference warns.
Nevertheless, Murphy signed the bill into law Thursday, justifying it as preparation for the U.S. Supreme Court “preparing to take a wrecking ball to its own precedent, Roe v. Wade,” which “would also demolish our case-law based foundation here in New Jersey,” New Jersey 101.5 reports. Murphy was referring to the Court’s pending review of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.
“To those on the other side of this issue – and there are many overwhelmingly well-intentioned people, many of whom by the way have reached out to me directly – I hope that we can come together in the greater calling of our faiths to make parenthood an easier, safer and healthier choice for anyone or any family in search of support,” he added. “We can each hold our own personal, deeply felt views and still respect each individual’s ability to make their own decisions.”
“Last week, Rev. Pat Conroy, a Jesuit priest who served as chaplain for the House of Representatives for 10 years spoke to the Washington Post about being pro-choice and Catholic, as I am,” Murphy continued. “And he said, and I quote Father Conroy, ‘A good Catholic in our system could be saying given women in our system have this constitutional right, our task as fellow Christians or as Catholics is to make it possible for her to optimize her ability to make the choice.’”
“My own journey and evolution on this issue has not been easy and is one that through great reflection has landed on ultimate respect and trust for others,” the governor went on. “Respect especially for those with limited means for whom restrictions on access to reproductive health care has the most devastating effect, and trust that each of us is our own best judge and advisor.”
“To be sure, I have leaned on my faith to inform and enhance many of my most deeply held values,” he said. “And as I said, this one has been a hard one for me. Yet I would be running afoul of those very same values if I used my personal faith to deny services, especially health services, to those who reach different personal conclusions through their own faith. I cannot allow that to happen, and I will not.”
Despite Murphy’s invocation of a prominent liberal priest, since the first century A.D., an “unchangeable” teaching of Catholic doctrine on human life has recognized abortion as a “moral evil,” complicity in which “constitutes a grave offense” carrying the “canonical penalty of excommunication to this crime against human life.”
Former Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput argues that it “give[s] scandal” for pro-abortion politicians to receive Communion by “creating the impression that the moral laws of the Church are optional … Reception of Communion is not a right but a gift and privilege; and on the subject of ‘rights,’ the believing community has a priority right to the integrity of its belief and practice.”
Further, while the sanctity of human life may be a religious concept, whether or not the preborn belong to the category “human life” has been answered by secular science. Long-settled biological criteria and mainstream scientific and medical textbooks established that a living human being is created upon fertilization and is present throughout the entirety of pregnancy.
Many abortionists and abortion defenders have admitted as much; in 2019, University of Chicago Department of Comparative Human Development graduate Steve Jacobs found that 96% of more than 5,500 biologists he surveyed agreed, despite overwhelmingly identifying as “liberal,” “pro-choice,” and Democrats, and 63% identifying as “non-religious.”
Despite these longstanding principles, Communion for many pro-abortion politicians, such as President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois, has largely been allowed to continue in the United States.
Last fall, pro-abortion Biden said Pope Francis told him “he was happy I was a good Catholic and I should keep receiving communion” during a Vatican meeting where the subject of abortion was not raised. In a November interview with Durbin, America Magazine’s Jim McDermott cited the Pope’s September remarks admonishing pastors to “don’t go condemning. Be a pastor because [you are] a pastor also for the excommunicated.”