Pro-life Representatives and faith leaders: Senate health care reform bill is pro-life
As the House of Representatives prepares to vote on the Senate health care bill as soon as this weekend, pro-life Members of Congress and faith leaders spoke in strong support of the bill today, citing not only the Senate legislation’s strong provisions guarding against federal funding of abortion, but also its $250 million investment in support for pregnant women, and its coverage of 30 million currently uninsured Americans — thousands of whom will die every year if reform does not pass.
Reps. Kildee (MI-5) and Charlie Wilson (OH-6), along with NETWORK Executive Director Sister Simone Campbell (who organized an endorsement of the Senate bill by the heads of 60 women’s religious orders representing nearly 59,000 nuns), Francis Xavier Doyle, former Associate General Secretary, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good President Morna Murray, and Evangelicals for Social Action President Rod Sider spoke on the call, explaining the connection between their pro-life values and their support for health care reform. As Sister Campbell said:
Catholic Sisters work with people who do not have access to health care and are suffering because of it. We as Sisters follow Jesus in the Gospel and respond to human need. For us, we can not turn our back on the 45,000 people who die every year for lack of access to health care. We also believe from our study of the bill that other life issues are promoted through the prohibition of federal funding for abortion, financial support for pregnant women and new mothers, as well as good conscience protections for health care providers. Taken as a whole the Senate Bill promotes life in a comprehensive way and that is why we support it.
Most observers see concerns about abortion to be the biggest hurdle left for the health care reform bill to clear, as pro-life Democrats are facing intense pressure from anti-abortion groups. Outspoken pro-life support for the Senate bill could make a key difference in passing health care reform.