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US bishops rally opposition to Senate health-care bill

CWN - March 15, 2010

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has ended any speculation about the bishops' stand on health-care reform legislation, issuing a clear statement that the Senate bill now pending in Congress should be opposed.

In a statement designed to be reproduced in parish bulletins all over the country, the USCCB argued that the Senate bill should be defeated because it provides support for abortion and offers no protection for the consciences of health-care workers who reject involvement in abortion. The statement reads in part:

Genuine health care reform is being blocked by those who insist on reversing widely supported policies against federal funding of abortion and plans which include abortion, not by those working simply to preserve these longstanding protections.

The bishops' statement was released shortly before Rep. Bart Stupak, the author of a pro-life amendment that was added to the House version of the bill, charged that leading Democrats were insisted on payment for abortion as part of the legislation.

Denver's Archbishop Charles Chaput, writing in his archdiocesan newspaper, said that the legislation now before Congress "does not meet minimum moral standards in at least three important areas: the exclusion of abortion funding and services; adequate conscience protections for health-care professionals and institutions; and the inclusion of immigrants."

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