Catholic Bishops From Kansas Urge Congress to Not Fund Abortion in Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
September 2, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Two Catholic bishops from Kansas have become the latest to specifically speak out against taxpayer-funding of abortion in the government-run health care bills pending in Congress. Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Bishop Robert Finn, both of Kansas City, are behind a new pastoral letter.
Their statement calls on Congress not only to exclude abortion funding and mandates from the legislation, but also asks for excluding rationing of care and end-of-life mandates as well.
We urge the president, Congress, and other elected and appointed leaders to develop prescriptions for reforming health care which are built on objective truths: that all people in every stage of human life count for something; that if we violate our core beliefs we are not aiding people in need, but instead devaluing their human integrity and that of us all, the bishops write.
"We have listened to current debate with great attention and write now to contribute our part to ensure that this reform be an authentic reform taking full consideration of the dignity of the human person," they say.
The bishops note the three letters that leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have already submitted to Congress.
They say they join the thrust of those letters against abortion funding but also against making Catholic medical workers lose their conscience rights when it comes to not participating in or referring for abortions.
"It is imperative that any health care reform package must keep intact our current public polices protecting taxpayers from being coerced to fund abortions. It is inadequate to propose legislation that is silent on this morally crucial matter," they say, joining pro-life groups.
"Similarly, health care reform legislation must clearly articulate the rights of conscience for individuals and institutions," they add.
Bishops Naumann and Finn also warn about the end of life counseling for the elderly or disabled in the current bills.
The two point to the statement released by the National Association of Pro-Life Nurses as a model guide.
They say "the mandating of end of life consultation for anyone regardless of age or condition would place undue pressure on the individual or guardian to opt for measures to end life, and would send the message that they are no longer of value to society."
The bishops call on pro-life Catholics to let their elected officials know to "protect the right to life" and "maintain freedom of conscience" when they consider the bills.
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