NCBC Supports USCCB's Position on Health Care Reform and Asks Advocates for the Vulnerable to Let their Voices be Heard
November 3, 2009
PHILADELPHIA, (christiansunite.com) -- Consistent with the position of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, The National Catholic Bioethics Center supports a health care proposal which is truly universal with respect to protecting human life and dignity. This requirement relates not only to the absolute imperative to exclude provisions that violate human life and dignity, but also to the need to protect conscience rights. Not only should taxpayers not be required to pay for immoral procedures, but provisions also must exist to prohibit mandates on providers. Excluding such provisions is contrary to the integrity of a free and pluralistic society. The NCBC believes that immoral mandates will be imposed if there is no explicit conscience provision, especially in the presence of a public option.
Thus, it is essential that longstanding and widely supported federal restrictions on abortion funding and mandates, and protections for rights of conscience, explicitly be included in any health care reform legislation. No current Congressional proposal has such provisions. The NCBC supports the position of the USCCB that if acceptable language in these areas cannot be found, vigorous opposition to the proposal must occur.
There is a proposed amendment (The Stupak Amendment) that if adopted would address essential pro-life concerns on abortion funding and conscience rights in the House version of the health care reform bill. Since votes on health care reform proposals in Congress could come as soon as early November, the Bishops of the United States have asked that each person contact their Representative and Senators immediately, urging them to amend proposed legislation with pro-life amendments. For more information go to www.usccb.org/healthcare/. Parishes across the country will be invited to make use of educational materials, including a web address that allows parishioners to send an e-mail message to Congress with a click of a button.
The bishops have asked for swift action in contacting congressional members through e-mail, phone calls or faxed letters. To take action go to www.nchla.org/issues.asp?ID=51. Our country is at a crossroads, not only in terms how our most vulnerable members will be treated, but also in terms of the future of conscience protections.