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US bishops conference mounts late drive against 'unacceptable' health-care reform

October 29, 2009

The US bishops' conference is mounting a late drive to secure passage of a pro-life amendment to the health-care reform bill. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is asking pastors all across the country to include an insert in their weekly bulletins, urging parishioners to call their Congressional representatives and encourage a vote for a pro-life amendment. The USCCB's pro-life office has indicated that it will press bishops to promote the dissemination of these bulletin inserts. The insert exhorts parishioners to act immediately. "Congressional votes may take place as soon as early November," it notes.

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers saw full-page ads from the USCCB in Hill publications, calling attention to the fact that 68% of Americans oppose subsidies for abortion coverage. "Abortion is not health care, because killing is not healing," the ads read. The ad states unequivocally that the bishops' conference will oppose any legislation that goes forward without an appropriate amendment:

The US bishops see health care as a human right. But if final legislation endangers immigrants, the poor, unborn children, and the conscience rights of health professionals, we will have no choice but to oppose the bill.


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  • Posted by: John J Plick - Nov. 02, 2009 1:06 AM ET USA

    If they are going to act they should go "all the way" and try disentangling themselves from Federal aid. As it stands now many of the beneficiaries of the "Catholic" system are at the mercy of the "morals" (or lack thereof) of "Catholic" politicians.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - Nov. 01, 2009 6:48 PM ET USA

    Psalm 146:3 "put not your faith in princes." The USCCB reaps what it sowed in Faithful Citizenship: "As Catholics, we are not single issue voters." After riding the "single payer" federal government controlled health care bandwagon for years as if it were a mandate of the Gospel, it is now very muddy waters we have to contend with to fight what was once supported. The idea that the invisible authors of HR 3962 would maintain Hyde restrictions was ludicrous from the start.

  • Posted by: peggyann - Oct. 31, 2009 11:11 AM ET USA

    I have to say thank you for the opportunity to fax my Representatives to request what the Bishops have asked for here. I will continue to pray for reasonable life-saving health care.

  • Posted by: bsp1022 - Oct. 30, 2009 7:30 PM ET USA

    "O young Lochinvar is come out of the west, Through all the wide Border his steed was the best; And save his good broadsword he weapons had none, He rode all unarm'd, and he rode all alone. So faithful in love, and so dauntless in war, There never was knight like the young Lochinvar. He staid not for brake, and he stopp'd not for stone, He swam the Eske river where ford there was none; But ere he alighted at Netherby gate, The bride had consented, the gallant came late: For a laggard in love, and a dastard in war, Was to wed the fair Ellen of brave Lochinvar." Lochinvar, Sir Walter Scott [1808]... A favorite from Catholic High School comes to mind as the Bishops appear to have "come late" to a grasp of what was promised from the outset regarding abortion. Of course, in the poem, Locinvar does save "fair Ellen" so, if Ellen stands here for the unborn, we might pray that even late, the USCCB will "swim the Eske river where ford there is none", no matter how doubtful their past performance. Please forgive my cynicism, having viewed the carnage of "Faithful Citizenship" which even today is featured on the "Catholics for Obama" website.