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Catholics Lead Abortion Funding Effort in Congress

1-4-10 Posted by admin in Blog, Featured Articles, Gallery, Recent Articles 16 Comments

Catholics Lead Abortion Funding Effort in Congress

by Deal W. Hudson

The present standoff over abortion funding in health-care reform pits two sets of Catholics against each other: The bishops, supported by pro-life leaders, zealously oppose abortion funding, while prominent Catholic members of Congress just as zealously promote it.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi leads the pro-abortion Catholic pack pushing hard for abortion funding in the health-care bill. Her 100 percent rating from NARAL should dispel any misconception about her decision to allow a vote on the Stupak-Pitts amendment: It was political expediency, pure and simple.

As if to assure her pro-abortion supporters before the final vote, Pelosi toldNewsweek in a recent interview that the Church’s position on abortion denies women the “opportunity to exercise their free will.” Somewhere in her Catholic education, Pelosi evidently missed the lesson that moral rules are both possible and necessary because we have free will.

Pelosi’s pro-abortion partner is another Catholic, Rep. Rosa De Lauro (D-CT), who is always close at hand when members of Congress bash the Church for its stance on life issues. De Lauro said of the Stupak-Pitts amendment, “It takes away that same freedom of conscience from America’s women. It prohibits them from access to an abortion even if they pay for it with their own money. It invades women’s personal decisions.”

A few days ago, De Lauro told the Huffington Post that she might be willing to support the abortion language of the Senate bill. This is a significant admission, since she is one of the House members assigned to work out the abortion language on the final version of the bill. She’s falsely claiming that the Senate bill is “abortion neutral,” that it maintains the current law. “Abortion neutral” is the favorite mantra being used by all the pro-abortion Catholics supporting this bill, including Pelosi, Catholics United, and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

The Catholic bishops don’t buy that argument. They recognize the Senate version of the bill is far from neutral and a direct violation of the Hyde Amendment, since it mandates government subsidies for private insurance plans covering abortion. There are additional problems with the bill, such as the lack of conscience protections, but the bill gives power to the White House to require insurance companies to pay for abortions.

This last threat is the product of an amendment by leader of pro-abortion Catholics in the Senate, Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). The Mikulski Amendment to the heath-care bill, passed by the Senate on December 3, presents another avenue for federal funding for abortion by wrapping it under “preventative care” of “women’s health.” As National Right to Life has pointed out, Mikulski’s amendment would give the executive branch “sweeping authority to define services that private health plans must cover, merely by declaring a given service to constitute ‘preventive care,’ then that authority could be employed in the future to require all health plans to cover abortions.”

Standing shoulder to shoulder with Mikulski in the Senate are three other pro-abortion Catholics: John Kerry (D-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ), all of whom have gone on the record supporting expansion of federal funding for abortion. Health-care reform is the opportunity they and other pro-abortion Catholics have been hoping for. Sadly, 15 Catholic Senators voted against an amendment that would have excluded abortion funding from the Senate bill.

Given the scandalous record of Catholics in Congress on life issues, it should come as no surprise that the presence of abortion funding in the health-care bill is largely the product of pro-abortion Catholics determined to overcome the restrictions of the Hyde Amendment.

If the health-care bill passes in its present form and is signed by President Obama, the Church will have to bear a portion of the blame. It’s not merely a matter of how hard the USCCB presses its case with the 111th Congress;  the chain of cause and effect goes back decades and runs through universities, colleges, chanceries, schools, parishes, homes, and, of course, the USCCB itself.

Deal W. Hudson is executive director of and the author of Onward, Christian Soldiers: The Growing Political Power of Catholics and Evangelicals in the United States (Simon and Schuster).

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16 Responses to Catholics Lead Abortion Funding Effort in Congress

  1. Jon says:

    I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. The Hyde amendment clearly has no teeth since we’ve been funding Planned Parenthood to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollar for many years (even when republicans and their appointees dominated all 3 branches of government). And as for the Stupak amendment, it has giant loopholes for cases of rape and incest (I’m still not sure why those always are used together, or why either of them should be an exception), so it’s not pro-life. Some may say it will reduce abortions at the very least. Oh really? Does it require a rape conviction or a paternity test for either of those exceptions to be used, or does a woman just need to claim that she was raped? As Catholics, we should be pointing out these things, rather than going along with the Republican opposition talking points.

  2. Donald says:

    Pray !!! Pray for the souls of the aborted. Pray for the souls of our elected representatives. Pray the Rosary and ask our Blessed Mother to intercede. Satan is at work in the world and Divine Intercession is needed! PRAY!!!
    Do not be fooled by lip service paid by either party. Neither party has done anything to remove this horrible stain of sin from our country. PRAY!!!

  3. gb says:

    “I’m not sure what all the fuss is abou”

    Well, then let me spell it out for you, Joh. According to PP stats for 2007-08, 428,000 + kids were killed just by their agency during that year in this country alone. ANYTHING that can be done to cut down on that atrocity is better than nothing. That’s what all the fuss is about.
    Translation: Half a loaf is better than none.

  4. Ryan says:

    thx for keepin us up with this stuff for those who are living in Ireland.

    we pray for an America that loves and respects babies and life.

    +St. Raymond, pray for us…

  5. Ken Sands says:

    All human life from the first joining of sperm to egg to natural death belongs to the Father,…. the sooner the Pope puts out the mandate that all Catholics must believe the same or be denied the Sacraments(especially the politicos like Pelosi and the Kennedys) the better off our country will be. We must now have “tough love” meted out by the Church Fathers!

    Ken Sands,Plymouth Mich.

  6. Susan Reese says:

    The Catholics pushing for this should be excommunicated from the Church. You can’t have it both ways.

  7. Jim says:

    Deal is right. The Bishops will be to blame. There are 15 ! Catholic Senators who vote pro-abortion. Not one of those Senator’s Bishops has the courage to publicly pronounce excommunication upon them. Not many of those Senators would risk losing Catholic votes. In fact only one would have to reverse his vote and the debate would be over. The Bishops are the only ones who have the immediate power to change this debate. My opinion is that deep down they want the Health Care Bill more than protecting the unborn. They can throw down the gaunlet anytime. If the Senate Bill prevails, they’ll be able to say that they “tried” and that will be the end of it. They remind me of most of the Bishops of England when Henry VIII took over the Church. They rolled over rather than risk their positions and their lives. Patheticly sad.

  8. Henry says:

    The catechism says anyone who promotes abortion is automatically excommunicated, no action by the bishops is needed. These people have excommunicated themselves. The bishops should speak out and teach the catechism, that is their job. Anyone who publicly supports abortion should be denied the Eucharist.

  9. Jan says:

    How exceedingly well put, Jim.Why the bishops do not take a stand does not become them, and we know what it is doing to the pre-born innocents. Pray for those without a voice. Remember, still, in 2010-where is the most dangerous place in America? A MOTHER’S WOMB.

  10. amd says:

    This article is missing one thing. Bart Stupak. As one of the people standing on the Pro-Life side of the isle, Bart Stupak has been amazing. He is a Democrat who has deep Catholic roots and is standing by his pro-life ammendment. He has been much maligned by the Democrats in congress because of his support for Life and he is sure to be more demonized by the left if this HealthCare mess doesn’t pass. He should be hailed as a Modern day saint for his support of Life at the risk of his reputation and position!

  11. Julie says:

    I have a letter in which the Seattle archbishop said he doesn’t consider Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to be Catholics. These prominent pro-abortion Catholics are one of the reasons I left the Catholic Church after 40-plus years. Too many Catholics in America think it’s okay to kill babies, and they’re willing to compromise on the sanctity of marriage, too. I wrote to the archbishop with my concerns before I left the church, asking why he doesn’t speak out more about the pro-abortion stances of our state’s three most prominent Catholic politicians–Patty Murray, Maria Cantwell, and Chris Gregoire. He said he does.

  12. Ward Yondo says:

    Pray always! To one degree or another, any Catholic, or Christian of any denomination that does not do any, and everything in thier power to end this murdering has fault to bear. It is one thing to say “I’m Catholic and Pro-Life”. It is another thing to fight the fight. We all need to hold the Bishops, politicians, Catholics, Ourselfs, and the rest of Gods Church accountable in every way we can(no matter the personal price)! Maybe that’s part of what Jesus meant when he told us we would also be persecuted for his sake? Pray on, and Pray LOUD!

    May the Holy Spirit bring Gods Wisdom and Truth to all of us!!!

  13. GUS says:

    Catholics who support “PRO Life are ok if they are supporting the “FREE WILL” God endowed to us all, and they know if they further are openly or activly supporting “ABORTION” as part of that FREE WILL that isbreaking a commandment. They cannot take communion if they are in the state of mortal sin which they would be as long as they continue to support and assist and promote infanticide in any manner; if they are “exercising their FREE WILL and are against abortion even though they ARE PRO-CHOICE then there is no one who can judge them. I cannot get inside Pelosi’s head or the many others who are pro choice but please understand when you DENY THEM THE FREE WILL GOD GAVE THEM TO SIN–you deny your own FAITH IN GOD ! GOD JWILL JUDGE THEM IF THEY DO NOT CONFESS AND REPENT AND DO PENACE FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF INFANTICIDE AS IT IS CLEARLY A MORTAL SIN.

  14. C3 says:

    Unfortunately this is one spoke in a larger wheel. You cannot claim to be a Catholic and be Pro-Abortion. If you support abortion then you are protesting against what the Catholic Church teaches. Protesting, PROTESTANT, see?
    Abortion is just one of a slew of issues where people wish to have their own opinions on and which clearly violates Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium of the Church. This means they aren’t holding Universal beliefs, Catholic beliefs. Yet they still want to claim the title of being Catholic. Any “Catholic” politician openly seeking, promoting, or defending policy that violates so clearly the above 3 precepts of the Church need to be openly denounced and excommunicated.
    Furthermore, I find private citizens who openly and with hostility violate, ignore, and denounce the Church’s teachings are guilty of “brand infringement”. They want to call themselves Catholic all the while practice a theology that is anything but. Trying to change the Church to suit their personal appetites. The Church is the Rock, it stands outside of time. It doesn’t change.
    Perhaps steps should be taken to protect Orthodoxy even if this means a detriment to the Church’s coffers. A clear line needs to be drawn to let protesters in Catholic camoflauge know that while we will pray for them, they will no longer be able to hold, be recognized, and thereby pervert the title of Catholic, when they have shown themselves to be anything but.

  15. Mike O'Neil says:

    The bishops have failed in their teaching office (CCC 888-892) when so many nominal Catholics support or accept the abortion regime in this country. Many orthodox Catholics have failed in their vocation as members of the laity when they largely expect the bishops to engage in political battles:

    “By reason of their special vocation it belongs to the laity to seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and directing them according to God’s will. . . . It pertains to them in a special way so to illuminate and order all temporal things with which they are closely associated that these may always be effected and grow according to Christ and maybe to the glory of the Creator and Redeemer (CCC 898).”

    Ward Yondo is right. We each need to get up off our fannies and fight this fight as well as we can. Pray – for an end to abortion and for fewer bishops with soft spines and weak knees. Act – to hold leaders accountable and to teach always and everywhere of the sanctity of life.

  16. Is this an US vs Them? It would seem so!!! One either accepts the church’s teachin or doesn’t!!! The church’s opposition to abortion goes back to the Didache of first century A.D.[=C.E for modernists!]

    This statement is not meant to be a “judgement of anyone” only a statement of fact. God alone is the judge.

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