Pro-Abortion Congresswoman Woolsey Attacks Catholic Bishops on Stupak Amd

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 10, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Pro-Abortion Congresswoman Woolsey Attacks Catholic Bishops on Stupak Amd

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 10
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — Another member of Congress is aggressively attacking the nation’s Catholic bishops and this time it is pro-abortion Rep. Lynn Woolsey of California. The Democrats joins Rep. Patrick Kennedy, who is coming under heavy criticism for saying the bishops are not pro-life.

Woolsey, the Democrat who is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, attacks the bishops in a Politico op-ed.

"I expect political hardball on any legislation as important as the health care bill," she writes. "I just didn’t expect it from the United States Council [sic] of Catholic Bishops. Who elected them to Congress?"

"The role the bishops played in the pushing the Stupak amendment, which unfairly restricts access for low-income women to insurance coverage for abortions, was more than mere advocacy," she writes.

Woolsey complained that they "seemed to dictate the finer points of the amendment, and managed to bully members of Congress to vote for added restrictions."

"And this political effort was subsidized by taxpayers, since the Council enjoys tax-exempt status," the staunch abortion advocate contends, and says the IRS should crack down on the bishops for exercising their right to lobby on legislation.

The USCCB has not returned a response from for comment, but Woolsey’s remarks did not go unnoticed by pro-life advocates.

Writing for National Review, John J. Pitney Jr. says "Woolsey is not the first Democrat to object to legislative advocacy by the clergy" and notes how Senator Stephen A. Douglas in 1854 said something similar about the bishops working for legislation against slavery.

In his own comments, Kennedy last month, the bishops lobbying for the Stupak amendment to stop abortion funding in the health care bill, said: “You mean to tell me the Catholic Church is going to be denying those people life saving health care? I thought they were pro-life?”

Bishop Thomas Tobin called on Kennedy to issue an apology and said he is a "disappointment" because of his pro-abortion voting record.

ACTION: Contact Woolsey at

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