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Cardinal George Lauds House Action to Ban Federal Funds for Abortion; Promises Vigilance as Senate Pursues Health Care Reform, Wary About Affect on Poor, Elderly
Date:11/9/2009

House action backs President Obama's promise to not expand abortion

Senate must follow House example

Bishops still concerned for poor, elderly

WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, lauded the November 7 decision of the U.S. House of Representatives to block federal health care reform money from paying for elective abortions.

In a statement issued November 9, two days after the Saturday night decision, Cardinal George voiced thanks that "the Representatives honored President Obama's commitment to the Congress and the nation that health care reform would not become a vehicle for expanding abortion funding or mandates."

"The Conference will remain vigilant and involved throughout this entire process to assure that these essential provisions are maintained and included in the final legislation," he added.

"We remain deeply concerned about other aspects of health care reform as the debate now moves to the Senate, especially as it affects the poor and vulnerable, and those at the beginning and end of life. We will continue to insist that health care reform legislation must protect conscience rights. We support measures to make health care more affordable for low-income people and the uninsured. We remain deeply concerned that immigrants be treated fairly and not lose the health care coverage that they now have," he said also.

The full statement follows.

Over the weekend, the US House of Representatives advanced major legislation to provide adequate and affordable health care to all. The Catholic Bishops of the United States have long advocated that adequate health care be made available to everyone. In an essential step, the House voted overwhelmingly to reaffirm the longstanding and widely supported precedent that no federal funds will be used
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SOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
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