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Bishops Urge Passage of Stupak-Ellsworth Anti-Abortion Amendment for Health Reform Bill
Date:11/7/2009

private premiums or federal subsidies. Significantly, the Federal Employee Heath Benefit Program, which covers all members of Congress and their families, has long been governed by the Hyde amendment in all its aspects and is widely seen as a model for reform.

Additionally, H.R. 3962 allows the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services to mandate that the "public option" will include unlimited abortions. Millions of purchasers will be forced to pay an "abortion surcharge," which requires purchasers of many plans to pay directly and explicitly for abortion coverage. This is unprecedented in federal law.

The Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts-Kaptur-Dahlkemper-Lipinski-Smith Amendment will not affect coverage of abortion in non-subsidized health plans, and will not bar anyone from purchasing a supplemental abortion policy with their own funds. Thus far, H.R. 3962 does not meet President Obama's commitment of barring use of federal dollars for abortion and maintaining current conscience laws.

If the Motion to Recommit focuses on denying immigrants needed health care, as reported, we strongly urge Members to oppose the Motion to Recommit.

Our Bishops' conference has been working for many years to support health care reform legislation that truly protects the life, dignity, health and consciences of all. Adopting this amendment will help move us move toward this essential national priority and moral imperative.

Sincerely,

    Bishop William Murphy                    Cardinal Justin Rigali
    Diocese of Rockville Centre              Archdiocese of Philadelphia
    Chairman                                 Chairman
    Committee on Domestic Justice and        Committee on Pro-life Activities
    Human Development

SOURCE United States Conference of Catholic Bishops


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SOURCE United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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