Bishop: Women’s Health Protection Act
‘has nothing to do with health care, protection’

After its approval by the U.S. House of Representatives on Sept. 24, Bishop Barry C. Knestout called the Women’s Health Protection Act “a misnomer as it has nothing to do with health care, nor does it have to do with protection.” The bishop is pictured delivering the homily at the Mass in which he installed Father Matt Kiehl, right, as pastor of Holy Spirit, Virginia Beach, on Sept. 11. (Photo/Vy Barto)

During his papal flight back to Rome Sept. 15, 2021, Pope Francis affirmed to journalists, “On the problem of abortion: abortion is more than a problem, it’s a homicide. It is a human life. Period.” The pope continued, “And this human life must be respected. This principle is very clear.”

In the United States, the persistent acceptance of abortion has resulted in the death of more than 62 million innocent lives since Roe v. Wade. Yet, today the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impose abortion on demand nationwide by passing the “Women’s Health Protection Act.”

The “Women’s Health Protection Act” is a misnomer as it has nothing to do with health care, nor does it have anything to do with protection. Its purpose is to permit violent termination of human life.

This legislation eliminates widely supported pro-life laws at every level of government. It would force Americans to pay for abortions here and abroad with their tax dollars. It would impose abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy.

Such life-threatening legislation is against the very core of what our government stands for. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”

As a pastor and shepherd of the Catholic faithful, I call upon our U.S. Senators to direct our government’s resources toward policies that support both mothers and their children. Reverse the extremely dangerous and deadly course you are charting. Do not allow this legislation to pass in your chamber!

I continue to call upon all Virginians to speak to our Senators, to have them vote against what I and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops consider the most radical abortion bill of all time.

Together, all of us, including our elected officials, must reject abortion and welcome, protect and defend life every day through the decisions we make and the lives we live.

Together, let all of us — especially our elected officials — embrace the God-given lives of all Americans at all stages of life, including the unborn.

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