In the midst of all of the recent action in Congress on health care reform, there has been just a little confusion about where the Catholic Church stands on the health care reform bills.
First, the New York Times reported that the Catholic Health Care Association supported the Senate Bill despite its allowance of taxpayer-funded abortion. Yet just three days later the CHA president, Sr. Carol Keehan, stated, ‘The Catholic Health Association has not endorsed the health legislation that was passed by the Senate . . . . nor did it endorse the Casey compromise language that was later opposed by the bishops’ conference.” But as InsideCatholic.com reported, Keehan’s statements are indeed confusing, because they contradict what she said in the past. Whether or not the CHA supports the Senate bill, they don’t speak for the Catholic Church.
And so the confusion runs deeper, as reports on the stance of the USCCB were misrepresented by various news sources. Though the Bishops rightly supported the language of the Stupak amendment, they have made clear time and time again that they do not endorse the House bill as a whole, and certainly do not endorse the Senate bill that allows taxpayer-funded abortion. Indeed, the USCCB has labeled the bill “deficient,” and has promised to “work vigorously to incorporate into the final legislation our priorities for upholding conscience rights and … prohibitions on abortion funding.”
To make it unequivocally clear: the Catholic Church is still standing up for the rights of the most vulnerable members of society, the unborn, over and above lesser concerns.