At the end of Mass on Sunday, our priest made an announcement to take note of the special insert in our church bulletin handed out after Mass from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. This insert states the USCCB's opinion on abortion issues as currently stated in the various health care bills before congress, and is supposedly to be sent out in all Catholic Church bulletins across the United States today. I have typed out the text of the insert in its entirety below:
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
3211 Fourth Street NE, Washington DC 20017-1194, 202-541-3100, FAX 202-541-3166
USCCB Nationwide Bulletin Insert
Tell Congress: Remove Abortion Funding & Mandates from Needed Health Care Reform
Congress is preparing to debate health care reform legislation on the House and Senate floors.
Genuine health care reform should protect the life and dignity of all people from the moment of conception until natural death. The U.S. bishops' conference has concluded that all committee-approved bills are seriously deficient on the issues of abortion and conscience, and do not provide adequate access to health care for immigrants and the poor. The bills will have to change or the bishops have pledged to oppose them.
Our nation is at a crossroads. Policies adopted in health reform will have an impact for good or ill for years to come. None of the bills retains longstanding current policies against abortion funding or abortion coverage mandates, and none fully protects conscience rights in health care.
As the U.S. bishops' letter of October 8 states:
"No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion. It is essential that the legislation clearly apply to this new program longstanding and widely supported federal restrictions on abortion funding and mandates, and protections for rights of conscience. No current bill meets this test.... If acceptable language in these areas cannot be found, we will have to oppose the health care bill vigorously."
For the full text of this letter and more information on proposed legislation and the bishops' advocacy for authentic health care reform, visit: www.usccb.org/healthcare .
Congressional leaders are attempting to put together final bills for floor consideration. Please contact your Representative and Senators today and urge them to fix these bills with the pro-life amendments noted below. Otherwise much needed health care reform will have to be opposed. Health care reform should be about saving lives, not destroying them.
ACTION: Contact Member through e-mail, phone calls or FAX letters.
To send a pre-written, instant e-mail to Congress go to www.usccb.org/action .
Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call you Members' local offices.
MESSAGE TO SENATE:
"During floor debate on the health care reform bill, please support an amendment to incorporate longstanding policies against abortion funding and in favor of conscience rights. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed."
MESSAGE TO HOUSE:
"Please support the Stupak Amendment that addresses essential pro-life concerns on abortion funding and conscience rights in the health care reform bill. Help ensure that the Rule for the bill allows a vote on this amendment. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed."
WHEN: Both House and Senate are preparing for floor votes now. Act today! Thank you!
The bottom line for me is that all of the current iterations of health care bills out there are seriously flawed and will only serve to worsen our health care system while destroying our economy. The abortion funding and conscience issues contained within those bills are simply the most egregious and evil parts of the bills. I am proud that the Catholic Church is standing up to fight against this outrage being done under the auspices of "helping people".
Further, it saddens me that supposedly Catholic speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi intentionally had the House bill drafted in such a manner as it now stands. Hopefully enough people will speak out against this travesty and she will see the error of her thinking on this matter. We shall see...