Healthcare Reform: Catholic Bishops Are Reiterating Opposition

By Stephanie Robins on November 18, 2010, 6:49 am Posted in Finance News

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reiterated their opposition to the healthcare reform law that has now become to be known as Obamacare. Church leaders are opposed to the possibility that it will allow federal funding of abortion and that there are too few safeguards to prevent that from happening. President Barack Obama signed an executive order that would prevent federal funding of abortion except in cases already allowed by law.

Executive Order Not Sufficient

During the healthcare debate the USCCB voiced their opposition to the law because it allows health plans that participate in insurance exchanges to provide abortion coverage as long as it is paid for privately and not with federal dollars. President Obama’s executive order affirmed this and a spokesman from Health and Human Services (HHS) reiterated the point.

The USCCB contends that neither provisions in the law nor the executive order will prevent federal dollars from being used for abortions. Cardinal Francis George, USCCB president added that their analysis was correct, and “our moral judgments are secure.”


Some Church Leaders Support Law

George concedes that the USCCB does not speak for all Catholics. Sister Carol Keehan, who heads The Catholic Health Association (CHS) voiced concerns over the abortion issue as well, but supports it as a “first step” towards universal healthcare. Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of the Catholic social justice lobby voiced support for the bill as well. She believes that there are enough safeguards in place to prevent public funding of abortions. Chris Korzen of Catholics United writes off the USCCB’s claims as unfounded, claiming they have produced no evidence to support their fears.

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