Catholic Leaders Urge Barack Obama to Not Promote Abortion as President

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 15, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Leaders Urge Barack Obama to Not Promote Abortion as President

by Steven Ertelt Editor
January 15
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The nation’s Catholic bishops have again warned incoming president Barack Obama to not aggressively promote abortion. In a new letter to him, they call on him to respect the sanctity of human life and to not promote abortion in any universal health care plan.

The letter, provided to and which outlined "an agenda for dialogue and action," was signed by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.

He called on Obama to work with the Catholic bishops to "protect the lives of the most vulnerable and voiceless members of the human family, especially unborn children and those who are disabled or terminally ill."

"We will consistently defend the fundamental right to life from conception to natural death," the letter told Obama. "We will encourage one and all to seek common ground that will reduce the number of abortions in morally sound ways that affirm the dignity of pregnant women and their unborn children."

The bishops also provided their second warning to Obama on the Freedom of Choice Act, issuing their first last year after their November national meeting at which they worried Catholic hospitals would be forced to shut down as a result of the bill’s far-reaching effects.

The letter promised strong opposition to legislative and other measures to expand abortion."

It also promised vigorous efforts to protect existing pro-life laws that protect taxpayers from funding abortion and medical professionals from having to participate in them.

We "will work to retain essential, widely supported policies which show respect for unborn life, protect the conscience rights of health care providers and other Americans, and prevent government funding and promotion of abortion," the letter told Obama.

They warned that "efforts to force Americans to fund abortions with their tax dollars would pose a serious moral challenge and jeopardize the passage of essential health care reform."

On health care, the Catholic bishops called on Obama to not make abortion coverage part of the government plan or force insurers to cover abortions.

They called for "truly universal health care coverage which protects all human life including pre-natal life" and which includes "a variety of options and ensuring respect for the moral and religious convictions of patients and providers."

Incoming Vice President Joe Biden and members of Congress received corresponding letters as well from the bishops.

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