Nation’s Catholic Bishops, Vatican Official: Don’t Fund Abortions in Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
July 22, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s Catholic bishops and a top pro-life official at the Vatican have the same message for President Barack Obama and Congress. They support efforts for better health care but don’t want to see legislation approved that allows abortion funding and mandates.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops recently sent a letter to members of Congress with the message.
Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York wrote the July 17 letter, which was released to the public today, urging Congress to "bring genuine life-affirming reform to the nation’s health care system."
The letter called for a "truly universal health policy with respect for human life and dignity."
"We have in the past and we always must insist that health care reform excludes abortion coverage or any other provisions that threaten the sanctity of life," Bishop Murphy wrote on behalf of his colleagues.
"No health care reform plan should compel us or others to pay for the destruction of human life, whether through government funding or mandatory coverage of abortion," the letter continued. "Any such action would be morally wrong."
Meanwhile, the head of the Pontifical Academy for Life, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, that it would be wrong to expand any funding or coverage of abortion — especially in a time of fiscal crisis.
He reminded public officials about the consistent pro-life themes found in Pope Benedict XVI’s new encyclical Caritas in Veritate that pro-life values trump other social issues.
"We should not forget that around these areas there are huge investments, both private and public," he told Vatican Radio in an interview. "For example, it seems that in the United States there could be a further increase in public funding for abortion."
When the economy is having difficulty, he asked whether financial resources should be used "to promote life in every area and not to increase a culture of death?"
Archbishop Fisichella also said that the conscience rights of medical professionals must be respected when it comes to abortion and other bioethics issues. He said their right to not participate in abortions must never be "suspended or impeded."
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