Two lawmakers, like many Church leaders, believe that US President Joe Biden’s stance on abortion will be among his administration’s policies that will be closely watched by Catholics around the world.
Biden, a practicing Catholic, has changed his position on the issue but has reportedly been very cautious in threading it so as not to offend the permissive society in his country.
Reps. Lito Atienza (Buhay Partylist) and Jam Baronda (PDP-Laban, Iloilo City) agree that Biden’s stand on abortion will be closely monitored by Filipino Catholics.
“He may yet redirect Americans to a culture of life!,” Atienza said when asked to comment on what he expected from Biden — only second Catholic to be elected president in the US.
The American president-elect is preceded by the late President John F. Kennedy as the first practicing Catholic US president. Kennedy was assassinated in office.
“He (Biden) may be able to arrest deteriorating values among Americans…. especially properly strengthening pro-life values,” said Atienza who represents a partylist group strongly opposed to abortion.
For her part, Baronda acknowedged Biden’s change of heart on abortion that may have come as a result of his “long political career.”
“It would be interesting to know what his policy will be once he assumes office as that might have an implication on how the rest of the world would view abortion,” said Baronda.
She added: “Be that as it may, we Filipino Catholics adhere to the dogma of our Church. Our faith and conscience are our guides in deciding over issues such as abortion.”
Despite his Catholic faith, Biden stands by the legalization of access to abortion in his country.
However, the next US president maintains that abortion is “always wrong” although he stressed that he will never impose this belief on other people.
Reports also disclosed that Biden has been consistent in his stand against “late-term abortion” that is performed on the second and third trimester of pregnancy.
There is only one abortion-related bill currently under consideration in the Philippines House of Representatives but the measure appeared to be getting little support in the chamber.
Filed by Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, House Bill 2734 or the proposed Women and Children’s Resources Act provides for the establishment of a national program that will provide pregnant women with alternatives to abortion.
Rodriguez said the bill seeks to establish a national program that will promote childbirth as a viable and positive alternative to abortion and empower those facing unplanned or crisis pregnancies to choose childbirth rather than abortion.
The bill has failed to win support in the Lower House, having been re-filed twice already until this Congress.
Abortion remains outlawed in the Philippines.