Trump ‘is so much anti-life,’ Kentucky Catholic bishop says in abortion discussion

Mike Stunson
·3 min read

The Rev. John Stowe has long been critical of President Donald Trump, and the Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Lexington did not hold back in recent comments about what it means to be pro-life.

In a live video chat July 31 with the International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs, Stowe said Trump is “so much anti-life.”

“For this president to call himself pro-life, and for anybody to back him because of claims of being pro-life, is almost willful ignorance,” Stowe said. “He is so much anti-life because he is only concerned about himself, and he gives us every, every, every indication of that.”

Stowe’s comments come as Trump has been vocal about the beliefs of Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden’s own beliefs.

Trump attacked the former vice president Thursday, saying Biden, a practicing Catholic, would take away constitutional freedoms if elected president, The Hill reported.

“Take away your guns, take away your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything,” Trump said of Biden. “Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy.”

Stowe channeled previous comments made by Pope Francis in saying why Trump should not be considered pro-life.

“Pope Francis has given us a great definition of what pro-life means,” Stowe said. “He basically tells us we can’t claim to be pro-life if we support the separation of children from their parents at the U.S. border, if we support exposing people at the border to COVID-19 because of the facilities that they’re in, if we support denying people who have need to adequate health care access to health care, if we keep people from getting the housing or the education that they need, we cannot call ourselves pro-life.”

Pope Francis questioned Trump’s pro-life stance in 2017 when the president tried to end DACA, a federal immigration program that offered protections to some people who were brought to the United States illegally as children.

“I have heard the President of the United States speak,” the pope said at the time, according to the National Catholic Reporter. “He presents himself as a pro-life man. If he is a good pro-lifer, he should understand that the family is the cradle of life and you must defend its unity.”

In June, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of DACA and its so-called Dreamers, marking a major blow to the Trump administration.

Trump became the first sitting president last year to speak at the March for Life in Washington, an annual gathering to protest abortion.

He advocated for limiting abortion access, saying he would “defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential,” NBC News reported.

Following a 2019 controversy at the March for Life gathering that included a confrontation between Catholic high school students from Kentucky and a Native American elder, Stowe shunned the students’ apparel. Some of them were wearing Trump’s “Make America Great again” hats.

“It astonishes me that any students participating in a pro-life activity on behalf of their school and their Catholic faith could be wearing apparel sporting the slogans of a president who denigrates the lives of immigrants, refugees and people from countries that he describes with indecent words and haphazardly endangers with life-threatening policies,” Stowe wrote in a Herald-Leader opinion article.

“We cannot uncritically ally ourselves with someone with whom we share the policy goal of ending abortion,” he continued.