A legislative push to limit abortion in Delaware may be considered a political longshot in Dover, but the bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington believes it is a fight worth waging and comes at a time when protecting life of the unborn continues to be under assault in the United States.
Bishop W. Francis Malooly is urging nearly 200,000 Catholics in Delaware to show support for The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (HB52) and the Woman’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act (HB53) that were introduced in the state House of Representatives on Jan. 24.
“We have to do whatever we can to encourage a culture of life in Delaware and these bills would do that by limiting abortion and making parents more aware of the life that is present in the mother’s womb,” the bishop said. “All incremental steps to ending abortion are worthwhile.”
The first act would prohibit abortions in Delaware at 20 weeks because at that point, according to the legislation, a fetus can feel pain, including that caused by the two most common forms of abortion. The second would compel a doctor to offer a patient the opportunity to see ultrasound images and hear fetal heart tones before terminating a pregnancy.
The bishop said it is time for pro-life efforts to help bring change to the country’s view of abortion. He pointed to the efforts of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to halt aggressive attempts to promote abortion in several states.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, chairman of the USCCB committee on pro-life activities, has been critical of states moving forward with legislation that would permit a baby to be aborted at nine months.
“Abortion has always been built on a lie. Today, the lie is switching from ‘abortion is a choice’ to ‘abortion is healthcare.’ A law recently passed in New York not only legalizes abortion essentially for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy but removes any protection for children born alive after abortion,” the archbishop said in a statement. “A similar bill was proposed in Virginia along with several other states, all in the name of women’s health.”
“It is sickeningly dishonest to claim that women’s lives or health depend on intentionally killing their children,” said Archbishop Naumann. “This is especially true for late-term abortion, which always involves the purposeful destruction of a child which could have been born alive, with much less risk to the mother, had they both received real healthcare.”
Bishop Malooly agreed.
“It’s time for our voices to be heard,” Bishop Malooly said. “I encourage support of the two new bills in Dover. Our states of Delaware and Maryland have far too many abortions. We must advocate, educate, pray, and support the most vulnerable of our community, especially the unborn and their mothers.”
The bishop said the diocese continues to support efforts to help pregnant women and young families. He cited the Catholic Charities Bayard House program, the only licensed residential maternity program in Delaware for homeless, pregnant and newly parenting adolescents and young women. The program provides the supportive services necessary to successfully transition people ages 16-22 and their dependent children to self-sufficiency and well-being. Its major goals are the delivery of a healthy baby and the creation of a stable household.