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Posted November 07, 2009
Calls on Catholics across the Political Spectrum to Lend Full Support for Reform
Catholics United today urged House lawmakers to vote yes for H.R. 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act. Passage of the bill will ensure that 96% of Americans have access to affordable health insurance and will constitute a major victory for Catholic values of life and human dignity. The vote comes at a time of historic support for health care reform among mainstream Catholics, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“The Catholic Church teaches that all human beings are created in the image of God, and thus are equally worthy of dignity and respect. It's for this reason that the Church has long supported universal health care,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. “This legislation makes tremendous strides toward building a culture of life and promoting the common good. We call on members of Congress, especially pro-life Catholics, to vote yes on the Affordable Health Care for America Act.”
Solidifying of Catholic support was spurred by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to allow Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and others to offer an amendment intended to allay concerns about public funding for abortion. The amendment bans abortion coverage from the government-managed public option and prevents private plans that cover abortion services from receiving federal subsidies.
Nonetheless, some Republican-affiliated groups who claim a Catholic orientation – including the American Life League – have broken with the Bishops' Conference by opposing the legislation. Others, like the Catholic League and Family Research Council, remained silent Saturday after attacking the legislation for months.
“Catholics across the political spectrum should lend their full-throated support to this legislation,” said Korzen. “The bishops' stamp of approval means that this bill is unambiguously pro-life, and we will vigorously oppose those who suggest otherwise.”
Catholics United has also launched an ad campaign entitled “Health Care is Pro-Life,” in order to remind Catholics of the importance of extending pre- and postnatal care to pregnant women and children. The ads will run in national Catholic publications, and direct Catholics to a Web site – www.catholicsforhealthcarereform.org – where they can learn more about health care reform, register their support, and contact their elected officials.
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