Catholic Bishop in Iowa: Abortion Most Important Voting Issue

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 4, 2012   |   5:46PM   |   Des Moines, IA

A Catholic bishop in Iowa is running an pro-life ad in local papers in the state urging Catholic voters to make voting pro-life their number one priority in the Tuesday presidential election.





















Bishop R. Walker Nickless of Sioux City has been outspoken in the past, having slammed Vice President Joe Biden for using a “false argument to justify [his] cooperation with evil” when saying Catholics can support abortion.

He was also strongly against Obamacare because it funds abortions:

Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa issued a message on Tuesday that has pro-life Catholics cheering.

The upshot? No health care “reform” is better than a restructuring that forces abortion funding or mandates.

“First and most important, the Church will not accept any legislation that mandates coverage, public or private, for abortion, euthanasia, or embryonic stem-cell research,” Nickless writes. “We refuse to allow our own parish, school, and diocesan health insurance plans to be forced to include these evils.”

The bishop is also concerned about the effect a government-run health care system would have on the thousands of Americans who are pro-life medical workers.

“As a corollary of this, we insist equally on adequate protection of individual rights of conscience for patients and health care providers not to be made complicit in these evils. A so-called reform that imposes these evils on us would be far worse than keeping the health care system we now have,” Nickless added.

The bishop also sought to make it clear that “the Catholic Church does not teach that ‘health care’ as such, without distinction, is a natural right” and “the Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care.”

But when it comes to political rights, Nickless says rationing can’t be a component of any plan Congress approves.

“We reject the rationing of care. Those who are sickest should get the most care, regardless of age, status, or wealth,” he says.

Nickless describes how abortion actually makes it more difficult to allow universal access to health care.



“Without a growing population of youth, our growing population of retirees is outstripping our distribution systems,” he explains. “In a culture of death such as we have now, taxation to redistribute costs of medical care becomes both unjust and unsustainable.”

He says the main bill in the House, HR 3200 “does not meet” the pro-life standards he and his colleagues have set forth.

“As Cardinal Justin Rigali has written for the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-life Activities, this bill circumvents the Hyde amendment (which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions) by drawing funding from new sources not covered by the Hyde amendment, and by creatively manipulating how federal funds covered by the Hyde amendment are accounted,” he explained.