Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Bishops Urge Senators to Support [Abortion]Amendment on Health Care; Urge Constituents to Back It
USCCB ^ | 12/07/09 | USCCB Office Of Media Relations (spin machine)

Posted on 12/07/2009 9:09:30 PM PST by the invisib1e hand

Amendment precludes use of federal dollars for elective abortion coverage
Bishops want Stupak-style House amendment included in Senate bill
Oppose making people pay for other people’s abortions

WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops have voiced support for the Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment to the Senate health reform bill and have asked voters to back it.

The bishops took the position in a Dec. 7 letter to all U.S. senators, after Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Robert Casey (D-PA) proposed an amendment to prevent the health reform bill from using federal funds to pay for health plans that include elective abortions. The ban would be similar to the Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, to ban federal funds in the Health and Human Services’ appropriations bill from paying for coverage that includes most abortions.

Similar bans are part of other federal programs, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, and included in the House-passed “Affordable Health Care for America Act.”

“We urgently ask you to support an essential amendment to be offered by Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Robert Casey (D-PA) to keep in place the longstanding and widely supported federal policy against government funding of health coverage that includes elective abortions,” the letter said.

The bishops also sent to the senators two fact sheets: Abortion and Conscience Problems in the Senate Health Care Reform: http://www.usccb.org/healthcare/hatch-nelson120409.pdf and the one on What the Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment Does: http://www.usccb.org/healthcare/nelsondo.pdf

The letter was signed by Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, chair of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Daniel Cardinal DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chair of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chair of the bishops’ Committee on Migration.

“This amendment will have the same effect as the Stupak-Smith-Ellsworth-Kaptur-Dahlkemper-Pitts Amendment already accepted in the House by an overwhelming bipartisan majority,” the letter said. “Like that amendment, it does not change the current situation in our country: Abortion is legal and available, but no federal dollars can be used to pay for elective abortions or plans that include elective abortions. This amendment does not restrict abortion, or prevent people from buying insurance covering abortion with their own funds. It simply ensures that where federal funds are involved, people are not required to pay for other people’s abortions.”

The letter said that the bill currently before the Senate “allows the HHS Secretary to mandate abortion coverage throughout the government-run ‘community health insurance option.’ It also provides funding for other plans that cover unlimited abortions, and creates an unprecedented mandatory ‘abortion surcharge’ in such plans that will require pro-life purchasers to pay directly and explicitly for other people’s abortions. The bill does not maintain essential nondiscrimination protections for providers who decline involvement in abortion. The Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment simply corrects these grave departures from current federal policy.”

“We urge the Senate to support the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment keeping the health care bill abortion-neutral. As other amendments are offered to the bill that address our priorities on affordability and fair treatment of immigrants, we will continue to communicate our positions on these issues to the Senate,” the bishops said.

In supporting the amendment the bishops urged Catholics to work for passage by contacting their senators. One vehicle to do this is through www.usccb.org/action.

The entire letter follows.

December 7, 2009

United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), we strongly urge the Senate to adopt essential changes to the health care reform bill to ensure that needed health care reform legislation truly protects the life, dignity, consciences and health of all.

Therefore we urgently ask you to support an essential amendment to be offered by Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Robert Casey (D-PA) to keep in place the longstanding and widely supported federal policy against government funding of health coverage that includes elective abortions.

Sadly, the current Senate bill fails to keep in place the longstanding federal policy against the use of federal funds for elective abortions or health plans that include elective abortions -- a policy upheld in all health programs covered by the Hyde Amendment, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program -- and now in the House-passed “Affordable Health Care for America Act.” We believe legislation that violates this moral principle is not true health care reform and must be amended to reflect the Hyde restrictions. If that fails, the current legislation should be opposed.

This amendment will have the same effect as the Stupak-Pitts-Ellsworth-Kaptur-Dahlkemper-Smith-Lipinski Amendment already accepted in the House by an overwhelming bipartisan majority (see attached fact sheet). Like that amendment, it does not change the current situation in our country: Abortion is legal and available, but no federal dollars can be used to pay for elective abortions or plans that include elective abortions. This amendment does not restrict abortion, or prevent people from buying insurance covering abortion with their own funds. It simply ensures that where federal funds are involved, people are not required to pay for other people’s abortions.

The bill currently before the Senate allows the HHS Secretary to mandate abortion coverage throughout the government-run “community health insurance option.” It also provides funding for other plans that cover unlimited abortions, and creates an unprecedented mandatory “abortion surcharge” in such plans that will require pro-life purchasers to pay directly and explicitly for other people’s abortions. The bill does not maintain essential nondiscrimination protections for providers who decline involvement in abortion. The Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment simply corrects these grave departures from current federal policy.

We urge the Senate to support the Nelson–Hatch-Casey amendment. As other amendments are offered to the bill that address our priorities on conscience protection, affordability and fair treatment of immigrants, we will continue to communicate our positions on these issues to the Senate.

The Catholic bishops have long supported adequate and affordable health care for all. As pastors and teachers, we believe genuine health care reform must protect human life and dignity, not threaten them, especially for the most voiceless and vulnerable. We believe health care legislation must respect the consciences of providers, taxpayers, and others, not violate them. We believe universal coverage should be truly universal, not deny health care to those in need because of their condition, age, where they come from or when they arrive here. Providing affordable and accessible health care that clearly reflects these fundamental principles is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority.

Sincerely,
Most Reverend William F. Murphy
Bishop of Rockville Centre
Chairman
Committee on Domestic Justice
and Human Development

Daniel Cardinal DiNardo Archbishop of Galveston-Houston Chairman Committee on Pro-life Activities

Most Reverend John Wester Bishop of Salt Lake City Chairman Committee on Migration


TOPICS: Current Events; Religion & Culture
KEYWORDS: bishops; catholic; healthcare; judasgoats
said a long time ago that abortion is a red herring in this effort and that people who really ought to know better would think it a victory if the state went through the motions of compromising on it.

Not so. The only good that comes of this much ballyhood "stand" is if the healthcare takeover disintigrates as a result.

1 posted on 12/07/2009 9:09:31 PM PST by the invisib1e hand
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: NYer; wagglebee

ping, fyi.


2 posted on 12/07/2009 9:15:10 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
The only good that comes of this much ballyhood "stand" is if the healthcare takeover disintigrates as a result.

Well, let's rephrase: obviously if we get socialist healthcare shoved down our throats, it's less overty wicked without abortion. On the other hand, FRiends, if they pass it with abortion, the streets will probably seethe, with what some in Manhattan have referred to as "civil disobedience." It's best, however if it doesn't pass at all and these marxo-fascists are sent yelping back into obscurity.

3 posted on 12/07/2009 9:18:39 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

Agreed it needs to die a quick death! I’m afraid if the amendment passes it will put the thing on life-support when what it really needs is a stake driven through it!


4 posted on 12/07/2009 9:21:13 PM PST by JLLH
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
I must admire the way the U. S. Bishops are coming out AGAINST the healthcare/obamacare as it is. I pray this holds up the bill indefinitely. Would that other denominations would speak out in a similar fashion!

Bishops Urge Senators to Support [Abortion]Amendment on Health Care; Urge Constituents to Back It
Bishops urged to be tough on pols who would pay for abortion
Health reform still full of thorny problems for Catholics (Vasa comes out for subsidiarity)
Healthcare and Catholics: True and False Arguments


Meddling Bishops Interfere in Political Process
How the Stupak-Pitts Amendment May Change Our Politics

Health Care and the Power of the Bishops' Conference
Health Care and the Power of the Bishops' Conference
US Bishops: Abortion Isn't Health Care
Denver Archbishop Chaput says promises were broken on abortion
Catholic Bishops: Health Care Bill ... ‘Money-Laundering System’ for Funding Abortion

Catholic Caucus: The Bishops Go On Offense
US bishops conference mounts late drive against 'unacceptable' health-care reform
Catholic Bishops Urge Members to Oppose Abortion Funding in Health Care Plan [Catholic Uprising!]
Bishops Announce Unprecedented Massive Catholic Opposition to Obamacare
Bishops Call for Massive Catholic Opposition to Abortion in Current Health Care Reform

Archbishop Charles Chaput on the Current Struggle Between Catholics and "Caesar"
The Bishop's Ax Falls on Obama. And on the Vatican Curia (bombshell article)
US Bishops: Heath Package Still Funding Abortions (Urge Congress to Keep Working)
Catholic Bishops Declare They Will ‘Vigorously’ Oppose Health Care Bill as It Now Stands
Bishops Restate Vow vs. Obamacare's Abortion

Important: US Bishops taking the gloves off on health care reform
BREAKING: Catholic Bishops On Health Care - Change Bills Or Else
U.S. bishops warn of vigorous opposition if Congress fails to fix health care bills
List: *41* Bishops against Obamacare (and counting!)
Bishop Murphy Issues Video Statement on Health Care Reform [Diocese of Rockville Centre]

Health Care Principles [Bishop Samuel Aquila, Fargo, ND]
Florida Bishop [Thomas Wenski] Weighs in on Health Care Reform
ObamaCare and Catholic social teaching [Bishop Neckless]
Some Catholic bishops question gov't health care
Boston’s Roman Catholic Cardinal Says He Confronted Obama about Abortion in Health Care Plan....

Iowa Bishop: Don’t Be Railroaded into the Current...Health Care Proposals
in a message issued by the Diocese of Sioux City (The Church on Universal Healthcare)
Nazi Health Care A Catholic Bishop Speaks Out Against "End of Life Care" (Germany, 1941)
Bishop Nickless: "No Health Care Reform is Better than the Wrong Health Care Reform"
Cardinal Rigali, Abp. Chaput Intensify Warnings Against Obamacare's Abortion Expansion

5 posted on 12/07/2009 9:24:13 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JLLH
Agreed it needs to die a quick death! I’m afraid if the amendment passes it will put the thing on life-support when what it really needs is a stake driven through it!

Well said.

6 posted on 12/07/2009 9:28:14 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
I must admire the way the U. S. Bishops are coming out AGAINST the healthcare/obamacare as it is.

I don't - it's a half-measure. Maybe they have a strategy to speak about subisidiarity and taking one shot at a time, but I doubt it.

This statement says, "we'll love your healthcare without abortion. Markets? We don't need no stinkin' markets."

Liberty cannot be separated from life.

There was a time when the church demanded of itself the support of the market system, and the filling in of any gaps thereof.

Apparently the day of charity has passed.

7 posted on 12/07/2009 9:31:15 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand; informavoracious; larose; RJR_fan; Prospero; Conservative Vermont Vet; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

8 posted on 12/07/2009 9:32:56 PM PST by narses ('in an odd way this is cheering news!'.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation

couldn’t remember who to ping, btw — will include you next time.


9 posted on 12/07/2009 9:34:13 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

Any other groups of clergy that are coming out against Obamacare?

At least the Bishops are speaking!


10 posted on 12/07/2009 10:07:40 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
At least the Bishops are speaking!

They're not coming out against obamacare. They're coming out against abortion. Sadly, yes, I suppose that is progress since, fortheluvofgawd, it's been legal throughout all their lifetimes.

But I hardly think it's anything to comment them for. It's like commending your mailman for delivering your mail.

11 posted on 12/07/2009 10:18:21 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
comment > commend

And as to your other question, I think the Manhattan Declaration is somewhat 'ecumanical,' is it not?

12 posted on 12/07/2009 10:19:18 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

The bishops have a strategy, as anyone willing to-—Look! That dog has a puffy tail!!!


13 posted on 12/07/2009 10:29:04 PM PST by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
The abortion option is a “bait and switch” maneuver from the Democrats. Catholics who favor socialized medicine are willing tools of the socialists ~they'll deserve what they get if the bill passes.

The USCCB shouldn't be involved in this discussion, nor should it be the willing dupes of Obama and his death cult.

Honestly, they should know better.

14 posted on 12/07/2009 10:30:30 PM PST by incredulous joe ("Do I look like Mrs. Obama??")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

It is my understanding that “Manhattan” is an ecumenical profect, as it should be.

We will either need to hang together, or we will hang separately.


15 posted on 12/07/2009 10:34:10 PM PST by incredulous joe ("Do I look like Mrs. Obama??")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: Arthur McGowan
Look! That dog has a puffy tail!!!

[chuckling] Gallow humor is better than no humor at all!

16 posted on 12/07/2009 10:41:00 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand; Salvation

The Bishops could turn circles in the air and demand Obama be put in chains and some people wouldn’t be happy.

Nuff said


17 posted on 12/08/2009 7:18:26 AM PST by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: incredulous joe

Love your tagline!


18 posted on 12/08/2009 7:19:31 AM PST by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
Email, call, fax your Senators! Burn up the lines. No abortion at all in obamacare!

U. S. Senate

19 posted on 12/08/2009 9:07:11 AM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Salvation
Email, call, fax your Senators! Burn up the lines. No abortion at all in obamacare! U. S. Senate

How about, "no Obama care?" Why can't we do that? that's my whole point.

20 posted on 12/08/2009 4:43:37 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (free enterprise (the first word is a verb))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: netmilsmom

Thanks.

Seriously,...

“I’d prefer it if you kiss me if you are going to do the sex thing to me.”


21 posted on 12/08/2009 8:25:32 PM PST by incredulous joe ("Do I look like Mrs. Obama??")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

The phony abortion amendment is dead.

GOOD!

Now the socialist bishops have no smokescreen to enable them to support communist deathcare.


22 posted on 12/08/2009 10:27:47 PM PST by Arthur McGowan (In Edward Kennedy's America, federal funding of brothels is a right, not a privilege.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: incredulous joe

>>“I’d prefer it if you kiss me if you are going to do the sex thing to me.”<<

That whole skit made me LOL!


24 posted on 12/09/2009 5:52:00 AM PST by netmilsmom (I am Ilk)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson