US President Joe Biden speaks about the Covid-19 response before signing executive orders for economic relief to Covid-hit families and businesses in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 22, 2021. (Photo: Nicholas Kamm / AFP)
The conference's pro-life chairman, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, said that no US president should ever deny unborn children's right to life.
"We strongly urge the president to reject abortion and promote life-affirming aid to women and communities in need," Archbishop Naumann, who heads a committee on pro-life activities, said on Jan. 22.
The statement said it was "deeply disturbing and tragic that any president would praise and commit to codifying a Supreme Court ruling that denies unborn children their most basic human and civil right, the right to life under the euphemistic disguise of a health service."
On Jan. 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court order which mandated permissive abortion laws nationwide, the president and vice president categorically stated their commitment to legal abortion.
"The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v. Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe," their statement said.
It did not mention abortion by name, instead it used euphemisms like "reproductive health" and "healthcare."
"In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack," their statement said.
"As the Biden-Harris Administration begins in this critical moment, now is the time to rededicate ourselves to ensuring that all individuals have access to the health care they need."
The bishops' conference said that their statement wrongly gives the impression that the Roe v. Wade decision was "an advancement of women's rights and health."
Archbishop Naumann stressed the Church's teaching on abortion.
"Since the first century, the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion. This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable'," he said.
On the day of Biden's inauguration, Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, bishops' conference president, said he was praying for Biden.
He listed the areas of agreement and disagreement between the bishops and Biden.
The US bishops will work with Biden to start "a dialogue to address the complicated cultural and economic factors that are driving abortion and discouraging families," Archbishop Gomez said.
Pope Francis has often rejected abortion as part of a "throwaway culture."