Catholic Bishops Urge No Vote on Senate Health Care Bill Over Abortion Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 14, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishops Urge No Vote on Senate Health Care Bill Over Abortion Funding

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 14
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — In an updated action alert millions of Catholics received this weekend, the nations Catholic bishops restated their opposition to the Senate health care bill over abortion. With the House considering the bill this week and procedural maneuvers to approve it, their opposition could become a deciding factor.

The communication from the bishops comes as the Catholic Health Association is under fire for endorsing the pro-abortion Senate bill.

"As long-time advocates of health care reform, the U.S. Catholic bishops continue to make the moral case that genuine health care reform must protect the life, dignity, consciences and health of all, especially the poor and vulnerable," the updated legislative alert says.

"Health care reform should provide access to affordable and quality health care for all, and not advance a pro-abortion agenda in our country. Genuine health care reform is being blocked by those who insist on reversing widely supported policies against federal funding of abortion and plans which include abortion, not by those working simply to preserve these longstanding protections," they add.

Although the House backed a bill that stopped abortion funding and promotion, the Catholic bishops say the Senate measure lacks those pro-life protections.

The Senate measure "requires federal funds to help subsidize and promote health plans that cover elective abortions," they explain.

"All purchasers of such plans will be required to pay for other people’s abortions through a separate payment solely to pay for abortion," the bishops add.

The bishops urge Catholics to tell their House members, "to oppose any bill unless" an abortion funding ban is in place along with conscience protections for medical workers who don’t want to be involved in abortion procedures.

Ed Morrissey, a conservative writer at HotAir, says the stance of the Catholic bishops is further proof the Senate bill funds abortions. He notes how the bishops support a health care reform bill and would likely be cheering if the House version had moved forward.

"Their opposition to the Senate version and their call to activism against it shows just how radically the Senate changed the abortion provisions," he said. "This is not status quo ante on federal funding for abortion, and even the normal supporters of government intervention in health care know that."

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