Catholic Bishops Launch Newspaper Ads Attacking Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 18, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Bishops Launch Newspaper Ads Attacking Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 18
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — The nation’s Catholic bishops have launched a slew of newspaper ads criticizing the pro-abortion Senate health care bill. Their renewed effort to defeat the legislation and its abortion funding and promotion comes as dissident Catholic groups are confusing House members into supporting the bill.

"Health care reform is about saving lives, not destroying them," the ad featuring a doctor and pregnant woman says.

Deirdre McQuade of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops tells the ads are appearing today in the Washington Post, Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, CQ and Congress Daily AM — all read by members of Congress.

"For over 30 years, the Hyde Amendment and other longstanding and widely
supported laws have prevented federal funding of elective abortions," the ad says. "Yet the Senate health care reform bill violates this policy — and fails to protect the life, dignity and conscience of all."

"It will appropriate billions of dollars in new funds not covered by the Hyde
Amendment, and subsidize health plans that make their enrollees pay for elective abortions," the ad continues. "Americans would be forced to subsidize
other people’s abortions through their taxes and health insurance premiums."

"We need genuine health care reform — reform that helps save lives, not
destroy them," the bishops say in the ad. "The U.S. bishops strongly oppose abortion funding and threats to conscience, and call for critical improvements in affordability for the poor and access to health care for immigrants."

In bolded letters, the ad specifically urges members of Congress to "oppose the Senate health care reform bill until abortion funding and threats to conscience are removed."

The new ads come at a time when the Catholic Health Association has endorsed the Senate bill and its endorsement resulted in pro-life Democratic Reps. James Oberstar and Dale Kildee supporting the bill.

Meanwhile a group of several dozen Catholic nuns issued an endorsement for the legislation and that has resulted in concern that Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas will cave in on the pro-abortion bill as well.

But pro-life groups like Catholic Vote, Catholic Action and Priests for Life have consistently opposed the legislation as have all longstanding national pro-life organizations.

The new ads follow on a letter from Cardinal Francis George saying he would appreciate a bill to improve the nation’s health care system but they can’t support one that includes abortion funding and promotion.

The Catholic Bishops of the United States have long and consistently advocated for the reform of the American health care system," he said.
But they have also "urged that all who are sick, injured or in need receive necessary and appropriate medical assistance, and that no one be deliberately killed through an expansion of federal funding of abortion itself or of insurance plans that cover abortion."

"The American people and the Catholic bishops have been promised that, in any final bill, no federal funds would be used for abortion and that the legal status quo would be respected," Cardinal George continued. "However, the bishops were left disappointed and puzzled to learn that the basis for any vote on health care will be the Senate bill passed on Christmas Eve" and "the Senate bill deliberately excludes the language of the Hyde amendment."

Related web sites:
See the ad –

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