The Catholic Church teaches that one can be excommunicated by two major ways. The first way of doing this is by a declaration, and the other is by actions that are of a very grave nature. For example, a bishop or Pope could issue a declaration excommunicating somebody. A person also could apostatize, enter into heresy or a state of clear schism, or do certain other highly grave sins that cry out for the vengeance of Heaven such as the procurement of abortion. It is of note that the current Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, who says that he is a Catholic, has just excommunicated himself by casting the deciding vote for the state allowing for liberalization of laws concerning abortions.
Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax, a Catholic, cast the tie-breaking vote on Wednesday to pass a bill to liberalize abortion access in the commonwealth.
Senate Bill 733 received 20 votes in favor and 20 votes against on Jan. 29. Virginia’s state Senate is composed of 21 Democrats and 19 Republicans. Fairfax, as lieutenant governor, is the Senate president and casts tie-breaking votes.
The bill, which has already passed the House and now awaits the Governor’s signature, would repeal a Virginia law mandating that only doctors can perform abortions, allowing other medical professionals, such as physicians assistants and nurse practictioners, to do abortions. The bill will also repeal a law requiring a woman to be given specific information about the abortion procedure before it takes place. (source)