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Religious Tolerance logo

Abortion access

2016: Controversy over Senator Kaine,
(D-VA) presumptive VP Democratic
candidate and his views on abortion

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2016-JUL-22: Beliefs of Senator Tim Kaine, the presumptive candidate for U.S. Vice President for the Democratic Party:

The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, selected Senator Tim Kaine (D, VA), age 58, to be her running mate. 1 She tweeted:

"Tim Kaine is a relentless optimist who believes no problem is unsolvable if you put in the work to solve it." 1

Both are strong supporters of women's access to abortion. However, Senator Kaine has often said that he personally opposes abortion in principle.

Simply put, he appears to be pro-choice in that he wants every woman to have access to an abortion if she is well informed, has thought the matter through thoroughly, and decided that an abortion is her least-worse choice. But he is pro-life in terms of his personal beliefs and supports many pro-life programs, as long as they don't limit women's abortion access.

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Senator Kaine's past activity:

While running for governor of Virginia during 2015, he said that he would promote adoption as an option for pregnant women who do not want to raise a child, as well as promote abstinence education in schools' sex-ed classes. Both positions are supported by the Roman Catholic Church of which Kaine is a member.

While governor, he approved "Choose Life" license plates in the state. Part of the proceeds from these plates were directed to crisis pregnancy centers who attempt to persuade women who are pregnant and don't want to raise a child to go through with their pregnancy and give their child up for adoption. Another part of the proceeds were directed to fund adoption agencies. Again, these positions agree with his Church's teaching.

At the same time, Kaine has deviated from his Church's teaching by supporting abortion access for women who have decided that abortion is, for them, the least worse alternative. He has opposed legal restrictions on abortion access and has received a 100% positive voting record on the topic from NARAL Pro-Choice America.

On a "Meet the Press" TV program he explained his position simply and with clarity:

"I’ve got a [negative] personal feeling about abortion, but the right role for government is to let women make their own decisions." 1

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Webmaster's note:

A lot of people feel that a person must be either 100% pro-life or 100% pro-choice. So, for example, if one is pro-life one should oppose abortion in principle, and at the same time try to limit women's access to abortion. Many have difficulty understanding a person like Senator Kaine who takes a divided position. They might also have difficulty understanding my personal position on abortion which is also neither completely pro-life or pro-choice, but in a different way to Sen. Kaine.

On 2016-JUL-27, I posted the following message to The Blaze's article on Senator Kaine:

"So many people seem to worship the number two. They view two and only two options for everything. They see everyone as either pro-life or pro-choice. But life is often not that simple.

Senator Kaine is pro-life in that he is personally opposed to abortion, but is pro-choice in that he favors allowing a woman to decide whether to have an abortion.

My personal belief is that a human ovum, spermatozoon, zygote, blastocyst, etc. are different forms of human life, in that they are alive and contain human DNA. But such forms human life are only a potential human person, not an actual human person. They become a human person when their higher brain functions first turn on and they become sentient. That is when they become conscious at some basic level of their environment. This happens about 24 weeks gestation. My feeling is that abortions should be restricted at that point, to cases where the woman's life is threatened or she may be disabled by the effects of a continued pregnancy.

These beliefs put me in a very small, but significant, minority that is different from the minority that Senator Kaine is in." 2

To which I could have added:

"Many pro-lifers say that abortion stops a beating heart. That does not necessarily trouble me if the abortion happens early in pregnancy. But stopping the beating heart of a fetus that has become a human person does trouble me."

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Reactions from the Roman Catholic Church:

Senator Kaine has often referred to his Roman Catholic faith.

However, two bishops of that Church have posted comments on Senator Kaine's beliefs on abortion:

  • On JUL-22, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, VA issued a statement, saying:

    "The Catholic Church makes its position very clear as it pertains to the protection of human life, social justice initiatives, and the importance of family life. From the very beginning, Catholic teaching informs us that every human life is sacred from conception until natural death. The right to life is a fundamental, human right for the unborn and any law denying the unborn the right to life is unequivocally unjust.

    Legislative issues pertaining to these matters are advocated on behalf of myself and Bishop Loverde, of the Diocese of Arlington, before the Virginia General Assembly, U.S. Congress, and with state and federal agencies and administrations through the Virginia Catholic Conference, a public policy advocacy organization. Through this organization, elected officials in Virginia are aware of the Church’s positions on such important issues.

    We continue to maintain an open communication with public officials who make on-going decisions impacting critical, moral and social issues. This is a responsibility I take seriously, along with my brother bishops, to reach out to public leaders to explain Catholic principles and encourage them to protect human life and dignity in all decisions they make.

    We always pray for our Catholic leaders that they make the right choice, act in the best judgment and in good conscience, knowing the values and teachings of the Catholic Church.

    It is the duty of all Catholics, no matter their profession, to decide through an upright and informed conscience as to their worthiness to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist." 3

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  • On JUL-22, Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, RI, posted a message on Facebook, saying:

    "VP Pick, Tim Kaine, a Catholic?

    Democratic VP choice, Tim Kaine, has been widely identified as a Roman Catholic. It is also reported that he publicly supports “freedom of choice” for abortion, same-sex marriage, gay adoptions, and the ordination of women as priests. All of these positions are clearly contrary to well-established Catholic teachings; all of them have been opposed by Pope Francis as well.

    Senator Kaine has said, “My faith is central to everything I do.” But apparently, and unfortunately, his faith isn’t central to his public, political life." 2

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2016-JUL-25: Citizen Go initiated a petition to Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

It states:

"Senator Tim Kaine has claimed to be a 'traditional Catholic', but he continues to hold public policy positions in direct conflict with the traditional teachings of the Catholic Church, specifically with regard to continuing to allow women to kill their child in the womb with no restrictions. It is doubtful that his ambivalence on the issue of gay marriage will hold up to scrutiny since he has been named the VP candidate under Hillary Clinton.

Bishop DiLorenzo, you have an obligation and duty to instruct -- and when necessary, reprove and rebuke -- your flock. Since you are the Bishop of Richmond, Senator Kaine falls under your jurisdiction. In order to limit the damage done by Senator Kaine's scandalous pro-choice stance, Your Excellency, you must publicly hold him accountable for his stance and help form his conscience against allowing abortion to continue. This must be done according to ecclesial due process: confer with Tim Kaine privately (preferably in the confessional) to correct his behavior and beliefs; if no public changes have resulted, you must escalate, up to and including invoking Canon Law 915.

Otherwise, we will have the 2nd Catholic VP in a row who has no problem with abortion-on-demand continuing to kill over 1.1 million children every year. (And we've seen the damage VP Biden has brought to the Church, with his public acceptance of so-called "gay marriage" forcing Pres. Obama's hand in the matter and causing great discord within and around the Church on the matter.)

Do you think Sen. Kaine will not be held accountable by the Lord of Life for the deaths of 4.5 million pre-born children during his term?

Do you think you will escape the same fate for remaining on the sidelines, instead of doing your duty with your shepherd's crook? (See Ezekiel 3:17-21, the duties of the Prophet/Bishop as Sentinel: ) What about the many, many souls of Catholics who will continue to be confused and go to hell thinking "well, I guess you can be pro-abortion and Catholic!"

Please Bishop DiLorenzo, do something!" 4

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Tré Goins-Phillips, "Hillary Clinton Taps Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine As Her Running Mate Ahead of DNC," The Blaze, 2016-JUL-22, at:
  2. Carly Hoilman, "Catholic VP Pick Kaine Supports Abortion Rights. Here’s What His Bishop Has to Say," The Blaze, 2016-JUL-26, at:
  3. Francis X. DiLorenzo, "Bishop's statement regarding Catholics in public office," Diocese of Richmond, VA, 2016-JUL-22, at:
  4. "Hold Senator (and VP candidate) Tim Kaine publicly accountable for pro-abortion policy positions," Citizen Go, 2016-JUL-25, at:

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How you may have arrived here:

Home > Abortion > Laws > here

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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-JUL-27
Latest update : 2016-JUL-27
Author: B.A. Robinson

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