Nancy Pelosi is simply unable to honor the Catholic Church to which she claims to be a member — as she has put her foot in her mouth again by claiming the nation’s Catholic bishops are lobbyists because they oppose an Obamacare mandate.
The Catholic bishops, and a considerable number of pro-life groups, are upset that the Obama administration is considering implementing a new rule regarding Obamacare and whether insurance companies will be forced to include birth control and drugs that can possibly cause abortions under “preventative care.”
The contraception mandate rule has drawn strong opposition from pro-life groups — in part because the religious exemption it contains is very narrow and could force certain Catholic and other religious groups to pay for insurance coverage for employees. They say that violates its conscience rights and religious views because of the birth control coverage and coverage for drugs like the morning after pill and ella that can cause abortions.
At her news briefing yesterday, CNS News asked the House Democratic leader about the mandate.
“In August, HHS issued a proposed regulation under the new health care law that would require that all health care plans cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives. The U.S. Catholic bishops have called the regulation an unprecedented attack on religious freedom and have asked HHS to drop it. Do you agree with the bishops?”
Claiming she is a “devout Catholic,” Pelosi said she disagreed with the bishops when they act as “lobbyists.”
“I don’t know if I agree with your characterization of what the HHS put forth,” Pelosi said, “but as a mother of five children in six years, as a devout Catholic, I have great respect for our bishops when they are my pastor. As lobbyists in Washington D.C., we have some areas of disagreement.”
“Again,” she continued, “I don’t understand the proposal as you described it. So, I won’t be able to answer it. But I do think that it’s important for women to have the opportunity to have full reproductive health options available to them and their insurance wherever they receive it. I support the waiver that is there for the churches now. I don’t know the exception as expanded by what you’re saying there.”
The comment about the bishops as “lobbyists” comes after Pelosi bashed the bishops and pro-life Catholics for having “that conscience thing.”
Pelosi says the position is akin to having hospitals “say to a woman, ‘I’m sorry you could die’ if you don’t get an abortion,” she told the Washington Post.
“Those who dispute that characterization “may not like the language,’’ she said, “but the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it . . . but they have this conscience thing” that the Post said Pelosi “insists put women at physical risk, although Catholic providers strongly disagree.”
Pelosi also defended controversial remarks she made about a bill to prevent Obamacare from funding abortions, where she claimed Republicans “want women to die on the floor.”
“For a moment, I want to get back to what was asked about the issue on the floor today that Mr. Hoyer address,” Pelosi said. “He made a point and I want to emphasize it. Under this bill, when the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor and health care providers do not have to intervene if this bill is passed. It’s just appalling.”
She told the Post in a new interview, that she doesn’t think the assessment went to far.
“They would” let women die on the floor, she said. “They would! Again, whatever their intention is, this is the effect.”
Pelosi is bastardizing a portion of the bill that reinstates conscience protections for pro-life medical workers who don’t want to be involved in abortions.
The Protect Life Act makes it clear that no funds authorized or appropriated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), including tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, may be used to pay for abortion or abortion coverage. It specifies that individual people or state or local governments must purchase a separate elective abortion rider or insurance coverage that includes elective abortion but only as long as that is done with private funds and not monies authorized by Obamacare.
The bill also specifies that insurance issuers may offer health plans that include elective abortion and may offer separate elective abortion riders, so long as they ensure PPACA funds are not used for premiums or administrative costs. The bill also clarifies that issuers who offer elective abortion coverage must also offer a qualified health benefits plan that is identical except that it does not cover elective abortion.
The pro-life measure also ensures that state laws “protecting conscience rights, restricting or prohibiting abortion or coverage or funding of abortion, or establishing procedural requirements on abortion” are not abrogated by Obamacare. It also makes it so any state or local governments receiving funding under Obamacare may not subject any health care entity to discrimination or require any health plan to subject any entity to discrimination on the basis that it refuses to undergo abortion training, refuses to require abortion training, refuses to perform or pay for abortions, or refuses to provide abortion referrals.