The House is poised to vote this week on healthcare reform, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposes the bill, according to a statement issued Monday by Cardinal Francis George, president of the conference.
In it, he reiterates the Catholic Bishops’ long support of healthcare reform: “The Catholic Bishops of the United States have long and consistently advocated for the reform of the American healthcare system. Their experience in healthcare and in Catholic parishes has acquainted them with the anguish of mothers who are unable to afford prenatal care, of families unable to ensure quality care for their children, and of those who cannot obtain insurance because of preexisting conditions.”
The issue is abortion, specifically, the use of federal funds to pay for abortion services. The House version of the bill includes the so-called Hyde amendment that prohibits this use of funds. The Senate version, however, does not—and that’s the bill that might pass the House this week.
The Senate version, the Cardinal says, “expands federal funding and the role of the federal government in the provision of abortion procedures. In so doing, it forces all of us to become involved in an act that profoundly violates the conscience of many, the deliberate destruction of unwanted members of the human family still waiting to be born.”
The costs of not reforming healthcare are appallingly high. Doing nothing imperils the health and well-being of millions of Americans. (Scroll down to see yesterday’s post on the costs.)
Should abortion be the issue that turns support into opposition of the Senate version of the reform bill? For many, abortion is the moral linchpin—the use of federal funds for abortion services negates all the good that would be done through healthcare reform.
For others, it’s another application of Fiat justitia ruat caelum: “May justice be done though the heavens fall.”
Do you oppose or support healthcare reform that includes the use of federal funds to pay for abortions?