Catholic Bishops: White House Health Care Summit Should Promote Pro-Life Ethic

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 24, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishops: White House Health Care Summit Should Promote Pro-Life Ethic

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
February 24
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — If there is anything President Barack Obama and top Republicans and Democrats should be able to agree on at the White House health care summit, it should be that any health care reform bill shouldn’t fund abortions. That’s the message the nation’s Catholic bishops have for the key political leaders.

On the eve of the summit, the bishops urged Congressional leaders “to commit themselves to enacting genuine health care reform that will protect the life, dignity, consciences and health of all.”

The bishops urged the House and Senate to adopt legislation that ensures access to quality, affordable, life-giving health care for all.

But, they said any bill must keep the pro-life ethic that retains longstanding requirements that federal funds not be used for elective abortions or plans that include them and protects conscience rights.

“We hope and pray that the Congress and the country will come together around genuine health care reform that protects the life, dignity, consciences and health of all,” they wrote today.

Meanwhile, Catholic Advocate president Deal Hudson says he has one simple question for the political leaders meeting at the White House: "Who will stand up when the cameras are on and oppose abortion funding?"

"Obama’s plan, announced Monday, used the Senate passed language as a starting point. Catholic Advocate agrees with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that the Senate language should be unacceptable to American Catholics," Hudson added.

Catholic Advocate Vice President Matt Smith agreed, in a statement sent to LifeNews.com.

"Repackaging the failed policies of the last 13 months is only progress for the abortion lobby," he said. "American Catholics should be very concerned about the increased funding for community health centers without preventing federal money being used to pay for abortions in those centers."

Nine Catholic members of Congress are currently scheduled to participate in the summit and, ironically, none of them are pro-life.

In their February 24 letter to Congressional leadership, the bishops also cited their longtime support of adequate and affordable health care for all, calling health care a basic human right.

Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chairs of the bishops’ committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Pro-Life Activities and Migration, respectively, signed the letter.

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