Catholic World News

Cardinal George responds to President Obama’s Notre Dame speech

May 25, 2009

Seizing upon the most surprising statement in President Barack Obama’s May 17 speech at the University of Notre Dame, Cardinal Francis George, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has pledged to work with the Obama administration in ensuring legal protection for the consciences of pro-life medical providers.

“Let's honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science, but also in clear ethics, as well as respect for the equality of women,” President Obama said.

Cardinal George responded, “I am grateful for President Obama’s statement on May 17 that we should all ‘honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion,’ and his support for conscience clauses advancing this goal. Since 1973, federal laws protecting the conscience rights of health care providers have been an important part of our American civil rights tradition. These laws should be fully implemented and enforced.”

“A government that wants to reduce the tragic number of abortions in our society will also work to ensure that no one is forced to support or participate in abortion, whether through directly providing or referring for abortions or being forced to subsidize them with their tax dollars,” Cardinal George continued. “As this discussion continues we look forward to working with the Administration and other policy makers to advance this goal.”

 


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