U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference Contradicts Pelosi's Claim That Senate Health Bill Doesn't Fund Abortion
From Cybercast News Service:
(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) insisted on Friday that the Senate health care bill does not allow tax-funding of abortion, and added that she had spoken with “Catholic bishops” about the issue. However, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops told CNSNews.com that anyone who had spoken to the bishops about the legislation should know that it does fund abortion and that the bishops oppose the bill.
At a press conference on Friday, Pelosi was asked whether Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), who opposes President Obama’s health proposal which uses the Senate bill as its foundation, was wrong in stating that the legislation would allow tax dollars to fund abortion and whether this would be a problem for those trying to advance the bill.
Pelosi, a Catholic, said, “Let me say it this way, there’s three, three--I don’t want to say principles--but three standards that we are using as we go forward, and I talked to the Catholic bishops about this and people on all sides of the choice issue.
“Law prevents federal funding, and federal law prevents federal funding of abortion,” said Pelosi. “There is no federal funding of abortion in this bill. There’ll be no expansion or diminution of a woman’s right to choose and that does not happen in this bill, and we’re determined that we are going to pass health care reform.
“This bill that passed the Senate does not have federal funding of abortion,” said Pelosi.
After Pelosi's press conference, Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), told CNSNews.com that “anyone” who has talked with them knows that the Senate bill, which forms the basis for the president’s proposal, allows taxpayer money to be used to pay for health plans that cover abortion.
“We do not know how anyone who has spoken to the bishops could conclude that the Senate health care bill does not fund abortions,” Doerflinger told CNSNews.com in an e-mail statement.
“As the bishops have said in their letters to Congress, abortion problems in the Senate bill are so serious that, despite our strong support for expanding access to health care, we will have to oppose the bill unless they are resolved,” said Doerflinger.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a 13-page document explaining why the Senate bill allows tax dollars to funded abortion.