Texas bishop urges local officials: Stop funding abortions
September 01, 2010
Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin is urging local public health officials to cease funding abortions. The managers of Central Health, which provides public health services in the Austin area, voted unanimously in December to spend $450,000 on abortions annually.
“At the heart of our concern is this: Those who assist in the procurement of an abortion are morally culpable for their actions,” wrote Bishop Vásquez. “Voting to allocate these funds carries moral weight for the Board of Managers and at the same time has implications for all those who pay taxes. As Catholics and Christians we dutifully pay our taxes, but doing so should not violate our conscience.”
Bishop Vásquez is “entitled to his opinion, and he states the opinion of the Pope,” said Dr. Tom Coopwood, Central Health’s board chairman. “We have to stand behind our moral position-- that the women we serve deserve a full array of women’s health services.”
The 53-year-old bishop was appointed auxiliary bishop of Galveston-Houston in 2001 and installed as bishop of Austin in March 2010.