The Catholic senator — who ran for vice president three years ago — came under attack from his bishop:
Tim Kaine’s bishop harshly rebuked the Virginia Democrat Tuesday for his vote against legislation that would clarify that babies who survive attempted abortions must receive medical care.
“We are dismayed and outraged that Virginia’s U.S. Senators [Mark] Warner and Kaine voted against this critical lifesaving legislation,” Bishop Barry Knestout, the head of the Richmond Diocese of which Kaine is a member, said in a joint statement with Bishop Michael Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington. “That this bill did not pass unanimously — let alone pass at all — is appalling and beyond comprehension.”
The bill in question, the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act introduced by Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., failed to reach the necessary 60-vote threshold to get closure with a 53-44 final tally. The bill was generally supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats, only three Democrats voting in favor. Democrats portrayed the bill as an attempt to limit abortion rights.Kaine has said in the past that he has “a faith-based opposition” to abortion and “will work in good faith to reduce abortions” while supporting abortion rights.
On Monday night, he said that he opposed the Sasse legislation because Republicans had not followed regular order in advancing it.
“They didn’t even want to bring it to committee, and that tells me I don’t think they had a real case to justify the bill,” he said.
In a statement provided by his office, Kaine also said that the GOP legislation was “extremely misleading” in its title and purpose. “Infanticide is already illegal in every state,” he said.
The full statement is available here.