Health-care proposal does fund abortion, says spokesman for US bishops
March 02, 2010
A spokesman for the US bishops' conference has flatly contradicted the claim by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that the health-care reform plan now under discussion on Capitol Hill would not provide subsidies for abortion.
Pelosi had claimed:“There is no federal funding of abortion in this bill." She "talked to the Catholic bishops" about the issue, the Speaker said, explaining that the legislation does not alter current policies regarding abortion coverage."
Responding to a query from CNSNews, Richard Doerflinger, the associate director of the US bishops' pro-life office, countered: "We do not know how anyone who has spoken to the bishops could conclude that the Senate health care bill does not fund abortions."
Pro-life groups have consistently pointed out that the bill advanced by the White House would provide taxpayer subsidies for abortion in several different ways. The National Right to Life Committee described the White House proposal as "the most expansively pro-abortion bill ever brought to the floor of either house of Congress since Roe v. Wade. The group's analysis noted that the legislation "would allow direct federal funding of abortion on demand through Community Health Centers, would institute federal subsidies for private health plans that cover abortion on demand (including some federally administered plans), and would authorize federal mandates that would require even non-subsidized private plans to cover elective abortion."
The latest letter to Congress from leaders of the US bishops' conference called for passage of a reform plan that would protect human life from conception to natural death. The letter did not address the merits of any particular piece of legislation.
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