The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Pro-Life Secretariat just released a statement denouncing the defeat of the Pro-Life Nelson Amendment. In addition the USCCB will not support any health care bills that diminishes the Stupak Amendment that was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Here is their released statement in its entirety:
December 9, 2009
Bishops Call Vote a Grave Mistake and Serious Blow to Genuine Reform
Say the Senate Should Not Support Bill in its Current Form
Hope That House Provisions on Abortion Funding Prevail
BISHOPS DEEPLY DISAPPOINTED BY SENATE VOTE
TO TABLE NELSON-HATCH-CASEY AMENDMENT
WASHINGTON—“The Senate vote to table the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment is a grave mistake and a serious blow to genuine health care reform,” said Cardinal Francis George, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “The Senate is ignoring the promise made by President Obama and the will of the American people in failing to incorporate longstanding prohibitions on federal funding for abortion and plans that include abortion.”
Bishop William Murphy, Chair of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said: “Congress needs to retain existing abortion funding restrictions and safeguard conscience protections because the nation urgently needs health care reform that protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all. We will continue to work with Senators, Representatives and the Administration to achieve reform which meets these criteria. We hope the Senate will address the legislation’s fundamental flaw on abortion and remedy its serious problems related to conscience rights, affordability and treatment of immigrants.”
The Senate defeated the pro-life Nelson amendment that would have disallowed public money to be spent on killing babies.
Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com explains what the current bill contains without the pro-life Nelson amendment:
The legislation currently allows abortion funding under both the public option and the affordability credits to purchase health care insurance.
Pro-abortion Republicans Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine voted along with most Democrats when pro-abortion Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer of California moved to kill the bill. Democratic Senators Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania, David Pryor of Arkansas, Byron Dorgan and Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Edward Kaufman of Delaware, and Evan Bayh of Indiana voted along with the rest of the Republicans to not kill this amendment.
“Progressives” all over the Internet are absolutely dismayed over the Stupak amendment, but they way in which they are expressing it is rather curious. Rather than standing up and proudly defending a woman’s right to murder her unborn child – or even to, in the more clinical and dehumanizing language, “terminate her pregnancy” – they are chiefly complaining about the class discrimination they believe is inherent in the amendment. Allegedly the Stupak amendment will only make it harder for poor and middle class women to get abortions, while rich women will continue to have access to them.
This distraction is as old as it is absurd. No one objects to abortions for the poor while supporting abortions for the rich. It’s easier for a rich person to buy drugs, to hire hit-men to take out an annoying spouse, or to commit any number of crimes against individuals and society. This has never been an argument for legalizing objectionable or violent behavior.
While the moral point the progressives wish to make is bankrupt, their concerns are based on recent and objective analysis of the larger implications of the Stupak amendment. If Stupak remains in the health care bill, it will actually have the effect of significantly reducing the abortion rate.