You probably recall that Bishops Finn, Naumann, Johnston and Burke, among several others with ties to Missouri, had previously issued statements against any healthcare bill that funded abortion or promoted euthanasia. These statements, in their turn, were reported on here. With each one, several commenters wrote in to criticise the statements and point readers to the fact that the USCCB was in favor of healthcare reform. The implication, of course, was to ignore the above bishops who weighed in early.
Now I trust these same individuals will acknowledge the unanimity of the Bishops’ Conference and start calling their representatives with the message that if abortion and euthanasia are promoted in these bills, we demand that they vote against them.
Here is a recentstory from Brietbart.com on the subject: Bishops’ Conference Blankets Parishes with Inserts Against Expansion of
Abortion Through Health Care Reform
Bulletin inserts sent to churches nationwide
Dramatic graphic drives home point that abortion is not health care
Solution: Language to guarantee federal money won’t pay for elective abortions
WASHINGTON, Oct. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In an extraordinary call to
Catholics to prevent health care reform from being derailed by the abortion
lobby, the United Sates Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent bulletin
inserts to almost 19,000 parishes across the country.
“Health care reform should be about saving lives, not destroying them,” the
insert states. It urges readers to contact Senate leaders so they support
efforts to “incorporate longstanding policies against abortion funding and in
favor of conscience rights” in health reform legislation.
“If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be
opposed,” it adds.
The insert highlights the Stupak Amendment from Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) that,
it states, “addresses essential pro-life concerns on abortion funding and
“Help ensure that the Rule for the bill allows a vote on the amendment,” the
insert states. “If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill
should be opposed.”
A dramatic ad of a pregnant woman notes that the Hyde Amendment, which passed
in 1976, has prevented federal funds from paying for elective abortions, yet
healthcare reform bills that are advancing violate this policy. The ad
message: “Tell Congress: Remove Abortion Funding and Mandates from Needed
Health Care Reform.”
The insert also directs readers to http://www.usccb.org/healthcare.
Bulletin inserts were distributed to dioceses October 29, the day Speaker
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) unveiled the House health care reform bill and in
expectation that they will show up in parishes in early November. Cardinal
Francis George of Chicago, president of the USCCB; Cardinal Justin Rigali of
Philadelphia, chair of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-life Activities; Bishop
John Wester of Salt Lake City, chair of the Committee on Migration; and Bishop
William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, chair of the Committee on
Domestic Justice and Human Development urged fellow bishops to promote this
campaign in their dioceses.
“The bishops want health care reform, but they recoil at any expansion of
abortion,” said Helen Osman, USCCB Secretary for Communications, who helped
organize the campaign. “Most Americans don’t want to pay for other people’s
abortions via health care either. This impasse on the road to reform of health
care can be broken if Congress writes in language that assures that the Hyde
Amendment law continues to guide U.S. federal spending policy.”
The Catholic bishops have a long history of support for health care reform
based on its teaching that health care is essential for human life and dignity
and on its experience providing health care and assisting those without