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US bishops call for health care for all children, pregnant women-- including illegal immigrants

September 18, 2009

Refining the US bishops’ message on health care reform and immigration, a group of six Hispanic bishops have told Latino representatives and senators that “health care legislation must allow all legal immigrants, regardless of income level, to participate in any new health care system and oppose any ban that would prevent them from participating for five years”-- a reference to current five-year waiting period for federal benefits. Health care legislation, they added, “must also support the inclusion of pregnant women and children, regardless of their legal status.”

“We met with our political leaders of both parties to re-affirm the principles of Catholic social teaching about the dignity of all human beings from conception to natural death and the centrality of the common good,” said Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio. “We offered these principles grounded in social ethics and our religious heritage as constructive guidelines for achieving a just and equitable resolution of the public policy debates” surrounding four issues: health care and immigration, just immigration reform, Hispanics and housing, and Hispanics and education.

 


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