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Catholic bishops in Colorado published an open letter Monday requesting that Catholic state lawmakers who voted in favor of an abortion bill “voluntarily refrain from Holy Communion.”
Voting for the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), the bishops wrote, was “participating in a gravely sinful action because it facilitates the killing of innocent unborn babies.”
Colorado State capitol building photographed in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
The bill, or HB 22-1279, was signed into law on April 4. It created a “fundamental right” to abortion, contraception, and other forms of “reproductive health-care rights,” while explicitly denying any rights to a fetus.
Democratic Gov. Jared Polis said RHEA “codifies a person’s fundamental right to make reproductive health-care decisions free from government interference.”
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In their letter, the bishops said Catholic lawmakers who voted for RHEA “have very likely placed themselves outside of the communion of the Church.”
The letter was signed by the Rev. Samuel J. Aquila, Archbishop of Denver, and auxiliary bishop, the Rev. Jorge H. Rodriguez, the Rev. Stephen J. Berg, bishop of Pueblo, and the Rev. James R. Golka, bishop of Colorado Springs.
“Until public repentance takes place and sacramental absolution is received in Confession, we ask that those Catholic legislators who live or worship in Colorado and who have voted for RHEA, to voluntarily refrain from receiving Holy Communion,” the bishops wrote.
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The fight over abortion rights has been in the headlines in recent months after a leaked Supreme Court opinion draft that would overturn Roe v. Wade was published in early May.
Fox News’ Tyler O’Neil contributed to this report.