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President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden attend Mass at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, DC, on Jan. 20. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops will vote in June on whether the church should forcefully say public figures and politicians — like President Biden — will be denied Communion if they advocate for abortion rights, AP reports.

Why it matters: Although enforcing the rule would be up to individual bishops, critics inside the Catholic Church expect the vote to continue drafting a formal document to "win overwhelming approval," the AP says. A two-thirds majority vote is needed.

  • Cardinal Wilton Gregory in Washington, D.C. and Bishop W. Francis Malooly in Wilmington, Delaware have said that Biden is still welcome to receive Communion at their churches, where he frequently worships.

The big picture: Biden is the second-ever Catholic president, joined only by John F. Kennedy. Within his first 100 days in office, his administration has moved to reverse a Trump-era rule banning federally funded health care providers from referring women for abortions.

What they're saying: “There’s a growing sense of urgency,” San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone told AP. “Abortion is not just one among many important issues. ... It’s a direct attack on human life.”

  • “They need to understand the scandal that is caused when they say they are faithfully Catholic and yet oppose the church on such a basic concept,” he said.

Go deeper

Arizona governor signs bill banning abortions for genetic issues

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in 2018. Photo: Ralph Freso/Getty Images

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed into law Tuesday a bill that would ban abortions in cases in which they are sought "solely" because of genetic issues, such as Down syndrome.

Why it matters: Facing the welcome prospect of a conservative-leaning Supreme Court, many Republican states have been passing bills to limit abortion access.

2 hours ago - World

Report: LGBTQ+ Afghans' lives "dramatically worsened" under Taliban rule

Taliban fighters in Kabul, Afghanistan, earlier this month. Photo: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images

LGBTQ+ Afghans have been threatened, attacked and "faced an increasingly desperate situation and grave threats to their safety" since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan last August, per a report published Wednesday.

What they're saying: "We spoke with LGBT Afghans who have survived gang rape, mob attacks, or have been hunted by their own family members who joined the Taliban, and they have no hope that state institutions will protect them," per a statement from study co-author J. Lester Feder.

4 hours ago - World

Canadian Indigenous group finds 93 suspected unmarked graves

A makeshift memorial honoring the 215 children whose remains were found in a mass grave in Brantford, Ontario, Canada, last May. Photo: Cole Burston/AFP via Getty Images

Indigenous leaders in Canada's western province of British Columbia said Tuesday they believe they've found 93 unmarked graves near a former boarding school.

The big picture: Hundreds of mass graves have been found at the grounds of former residential schools for Indigenous children since last May, when the remains of 215 children were uncovered at one such site in B.C.