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Will the Catholic Health Association Support the Protect Life Act?

Catholic Advocate has joined with eighteen pro-life organizations and leaders to request the Catholic Health Association support H.R. 5111, the Protect Life Act.

As we informed our community back in April when Congressman Joe Pitts (R, PA-16) announced the introduction of H.R. 5111, the Protect Life Act is an effort to fix the abortion language in the Obama health care bill. The Protect Life Act includes a bi-partisan list of 108 co-sponsors as of June 24, 2010. The Catholic Advocate community might remember the original pro-life effort to the health care legislation was the Stupak-Pitts amendment. While Congressman Stupak has announced his retirement, Congressman Pitts is demonstrating his commitment to life by continuing the fight.

Many may remember when President Obama told America on September 9, 2009 – “…and one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

Wednesday, June 23, 2010 marked the three month anniversary since the enactment of Obama-care. Since it was signed into law, there has been no progress on implementing Executive Order 13535, which President Obama claimed would bar taxpayer funding of abortion under ObamaCare and eliminate the need for enactment of the pro-life Stupak amendment.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, after Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, dodged questions about the implementation in a May 11 letter to Members of Congress, Minority Leader John Boehner asked President Obama directly about his administration’s plans regarding abortion in the health care legislation. The questions included:

  • Has the Department of Health & Human Services provided guidance to states to implement the president’s Executive Order on abortions?
  • When does the Obama Administration expect to issue a directive on abortions?
  • Will the new federal high-risk pools touted by the Obama Administration also ensure that abortions will not be covered?
  • What steps has the Health & Human Services Department taken to ensure that community health centers will not use federal funding authorized under ObamaCare to perform abortions?

As the Catholic Advocate community understands, relying on an Executive Order is not effective in protecting the sanctity of life in the Obama health care law.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) even acknowledges the bill “was profoundly flawed in its treatment of abortion, conscience rights,…” In a May 20, 2010 letter announcing support for the Protect Life Act, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, implored Members of Congress to “…help give us a reformed health care system that respects the life, health, and conscience of all.”

The Protect Life Act is a positive step in restoring the Hyde amendment language to the health care bill and protecting the unborn.

Will the Catholic Health Association join us?

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