Catholic Bishops Call for Obama, Congress to Expand Health Care Without Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
May 25, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s Catholic bishops have sent a letter to President Barack Obama and members of Congress asking them to exclude abortion in any legislation seeking to expand health care. With calls for universal or expanded health care coverage, pro-life advocates are worried abortion will be promoted.
The last time Congress considered a major health care expansion, during the Clinton administration, abortion promotion came in two ways.
Abortions were included in the plan’s section concerning taxpayer funding of various health procedures and language requiring insurance providers to cover abortions was also included.
Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, authored the letter calling for better health care coverage without abortion expansion.
While we support reforming our nations health care system, we must also be clear in strongly opposing inclusion of abortion as part of a national health care benefit, he said in the May 20 letter.
We also oppose inclusion of other procedures or technologies that attack or undermine the sanctity and dignity of life. No health care reform plan should compel us or others to pay for or participate in the destruction of human life," Bishop Murphy added.
Decent health care is not a privilege, but a basic human right and a requirement to protect the life and dignity of every person, added Bishop Murphy.
All people need and should have access to comprehensive, quality health care that they can afford, and this should not depend on their stage of life, where or whether they or their parents work, how much they earn, or where they live or where they come from," Murphy added.
Leading pro-life advocates are concerned about the direction of the health care debate. Despite President Obama’s claims to want to find common ground with pro-life groups on the abortion debate, the White House shut them out of a March health care forum.
Obama officials had no problem inviting Planned Parenthood and other groups that support abortion but did not invite representatives of any pro-life organizations to counter their views.
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