Commentary

So When Does Life Begin, Mr. President?

By Bill Donohue | September 7, 2021 | 2:37pm EDT
Joe Biden participates in a debate. (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Joe Biden participates in a debate. (Photo credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“Life begins at conception, that’s the Church’s judgment. I accept it in my personal life.” That is what Vice President Joe Biden said in 2012, echoing what he said in 2008.

“I respect those who believe life begins at the moment of conception. I don’t agree, but I respect that.” That is what President Biden said Friday.

The science did not change, Mr. Biden, and neither has the Catholic Church’s teaching on this subject. So why did you?  

If life does not begin at conception, Mr. Biden, then when does it begin?

Does life begin when the baby’s spinal cord, nervous system, gastrointestinal system, heart, and lungs develop? That would be during the first four weeks from conception.

Does it begin when the heart begins to beat? That would be four weeks after conception. 

Does it begin when the baby’s head develops? That would be five weeks after conception.

Does it begin when the baby’s nose forms and his or her fingers begin to develop? That would be six weeks after conception.

Does it begin when the baby’s toes appear? That would be seven weeks after conception.  

Does it begin when the baby’s elbows bend? That would be eight weeks after conception.

Does it begin when the baby’s genitals develop? That would be nine weeks after conception.

Does it begin when the baby’s fingernails form? That would be ten weeks after conception. 

Does it begin when the baby kicks, can hear, has a strong grip, and a strong heartbeat? That would be during the second trimester.

Does it begin at birth?

Does it begin sometime after birth?

When, Mr. Biden, does life begin? And why is science, and the teachings of your religion, wrong on this subject? Where is your evidence, Mr. Biden, that they are wrong? We need to know as this is literally a matter of life and death.

Bill Donohue is president and CEO of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. He was awarded his Ph.D. in sociology from New York University and is the author of eight books and many articles.

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