Bishop Burbidge Responds

Bishop Burbidge responds to Governor Northam’s extreme abortion comments

Since the beginning of the Virginia General Assembly session on January 9, we have witnessed the introduction of extreme abortion legislation culminating in an attempt to pass a law similar to what New York recently passed. This bill rightfully failed—but I am, along with so many people of good will, distraught that this bill was introduced in the first place. It could have paved the way for babies to suffer a violent and gruesome death moments before birth and could have been harmful to women.

My hope is that this bill failed because the elected officials of the state legislature recognized that it was an evil and impermissible offense to human life and our collective decency. Abortion of a baby in the final stage of pregnancy borders on infanticide. Our governor, however, may be willing to cross that border and go even farther. In a staggering admission, Governor Northam stated that after an infant is delivered, the mother and the family should keep the baby comfortable, resuscitate the child “if that’s what the mother and the family desired,” and “a discussion would ensue.” This attitude—and the bill that was defeated this week—reflects a new level of deep-rooted animus against the inherent goodness of every child. The governor’s statement and this bill demonstrate how far abortion advocates are willing to go in taking the life of a precious child.

This is a critical moment in the life of our Church and our society. I call on the faithful and people of good will to advocate for the right to life of all people, including the unborn and those children whose lives are at risk even during the process of birth. In Virginia, with the assistance of the Virginia Catholic Conference, we must make our views known to our elected officials on all issues where the right to life is at stake.

Through the Diocese of Arlington, we continue to offer assistance to expectant families in need and those who are suffering after an abortion. Families who need help should contact the diocesan Office of Marriage, Family and Respect Life: arlingtondiocese.org

To learn more about the failed abortion legislation as well as other extreme public policy proposals before the Virginia General Assembly, read the most recent VoterVoice Post (published 1/30/19) by Jeff Caruso, Executive Director of the Virginia Catholic Conference: https://vacatholic.org/votervoice-post/?vvid=1123

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge

Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge is the Bishop of Arlington. Appointed by Pope Francis on October 4, 2016, as the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, Bishop Burbidge was installed on December 6, 2016.

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