Catholic Medical Association Confirms Senate Health Care Bill Funds Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 19, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Medical Association Confirms Senate Health Care Bill Funds Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 19
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — Another prominent Catholic organization has weighed in on the abortion-health care debate and it says any Catholics who support the pro-abortion health care bill are out of step with the pro-life teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Medical Association’s statement follows on the heels of the Catholic Health Association giving some Democrats cover to back the pro-abortion bill.

"As the Democrat party accelerates efforts to enact comprehensive health-care legislation before the Easter recess, the Catholic Health Association, leaders of women’s religious orders, and academics at Catholic institutions have endorsed Senate bill H.R. 3590 and called for the House of Representatives to pass this bill as-is," CMA told in a statement late Thursday.

"In so doing, they have intentionally and publicly contradicted the policy position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops," the group added.

The Catholic Medical Association said it agreed with the conclusion of Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, who said these groups “have done a grave disservice to the American Catholic community by undermining the leadership of the nation’s Catholic bishops, sowing confusion among faithful Catholics, and misleading legislators through their support of the Senate bill.”

To the pro-life Catholic leader’s statement, CMA added: "Should this political ploy prove successful in persuading some legislators to vote for this flawed bill, these individuals and groups will have done a grave disservice to human dignity and to the common good of this nation."

While CHA and a small dissident group of Catholic nuns say the Senate bill is pro-life, CMA’s analysis shows the Senate bill the House may vote on this weekend definitely contains abortion funding and promotion.

"The evidence is clear that the Stupak amendment is absolutely essential if massive new funding of abortion is to be prevented," it says.

"Senate bill H.R. 3590 provides multiple new streams of funding for abortion" and it "requires all enrollees in health insurance plans covering abortion to pay, separately and exclusively, for abortions obtained by other plan participants."

CMA also says the Senate bill "does not include the most fundamental conscience rights protection under current law – the Hyde-Weldon amendment’s protection against being coerced to participate in abortion by a governmental entity."

"Given this evidence above, it is difficult to understand how some Catholics could lobby in favor of such legislation. Given the significance of the issues at stake, and the consistent, compelling policy guidance provided by the U.S. bishops on these matters, publicly opposing and/or undermining the U.S. bishops at this time is imprudent and uncharitable," CMA concludes.

The CMA statement also follows new newspaper ads the nation’s Catholic bishops have placed in several prominent papers read by members of Congress.

Under the Senate health care bill that will be the main bill Obama and Democrats push through Congress, there is no ban on abortion funding. While some states can opt out of funding abortions under the plan, taxpayers in other states will be forced to pay for them.

But the bill contains other pro-abortion problems that are concerns for pro-life advocates.

The bill requires that at least one health care plan be promoted across the country that pays for abortions, more abortion funding would come via the affordability credits, and many of the so-called limits on abortion funding in the Senate bill are temporary and could expire or be overturned at a later date.

The Senate health care bill also pays for abortions under the Indian Health Service program.

And it contains the Mikulski amendment that would allow the Obama administration to define abortion as preventative care and force insurance plans to pay for abortions.

Finally, the Senate bill does not contain language needed to offer full conscience protection for pro-life medical workers and facilities.

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