Bob Casey Won’t Say if Abortion Funding Will Prompt No Vote on Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
December 3, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — If pro-life advocates are going to be successful in preventing the 60 votes needed to approve the pro-abortion health care bill in the Senate, they could use the help of Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, a self-declared pro-life Democrat. However, Casey won’t say if abortion funding in the bill will prompt him to vote no.
Last month, the outgoing head of the pro-life committee at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said there is "no way" Catholic members of Congress can vote for a health care reform bill that includes abortion funding.
During a press conference at the National Press Club on November 20, CNS News asked Cardinal Justin Rigali, the archbishop of Philadelphia if it would be a "mortal sin" for any Catholic to vote for the bill.
Rigali said Catholic members of Congress need to vote with a well-informed conscience that reminds them abortion is absolutely wrong and there is no way in the world a health care bill deserves support if it funds abortions.
Now, CNS News has asked Casey if he agrees with Cardinal Rigali’s statement that pro-life Catholics can’t vote for a pro-abortion health care bill. Casey won’t respond either way.
I’m not going to comment on what he [Rigali] has said in particular, Casey said on Tuesday.
CNS News asked Casey, "Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia has said there is no way the Senate health-care bill as it currently stands can be supported because it permits tax dollars to go to health plans that cover abortions. Do you agree with Cardinal Rigali that the bill as it stands cannot be supported?
I’m not one who compares what I say versus what someone else says about the bill, Casey added. I think its probably unfair to both sides to line up what I say versus what someone else says, so I’m not going to comment on what he has said in particular.
I’ll state my position–which has been my position from the very beginning–which is that we’ve had a consensus in this country for more than two decades that taxpayer dollars don’t pay for abortions," Casey continued, according to CNS. What we’re trying to do in this debate, among many things we’re trying to achieve here, is to continue the consensus thats been in existence for 25 years that taxpayer dollars don’t pay for abortion."
Its not easy to achieve that, its complicated, but thats what we’re working on and thats where we have this debate thats taking place now on the floor with regard to abortion, as well as many, many other issues that are important to health care, Casey concluded.
During the interview, Casey said he expected to vote for the Nelson-Hatch amendment that would remove abortion funding from the bill. He voted for similar amendments in committee.
Casey also confirmed he plans to offer an amendment to the Senate bill that would provide more support for pregnant women who may consider abortion.
The amendment would be a modified version of the Pregnant Women Support Act has bill that has been a hallmark of the pro-life group Democrats for Life of America.
Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From LifeNews.com
Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report Receive a free daily email report from LifeNews.com with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.