Charlottesville Catholics United Members Defend Congressman Perriello's Vote on Health Care Reform Bill

Posted August 02, 2010

People of Faith Set the Record Straight about False Claim that Reform Funds Abortion

Local members of the group Catholics United joined other members of the faith community at a press conference today to support Congressman Tom Perriello's vote for health care reform, and to debunk the false claim that the reform act allows federal funding of abortion. This event responded to an earlier event held by Tea Party and anti-reform voices falsely claiming that elective abortions were being funded through high-risk health insurance pools in several states. Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued clear directives prohibiting such funding. Multiple independent analyses and fact checks have concluded that abortion funding claims are baseless. The health care reform act supported by Rep. Perriello not only prevents federal funding of abortion, but also extends quality, affordable health care to 30 million uninsured Americans and provides needed supports to pregnant and parenting women.

Catholics United member Anne Deane, of Charlottesville, read the following statement at today's conference:

“As a Catholic, I believe that health care is a human right, and that it is a requirement of justice that each and every member of our society has access to quality affordable care. Inspired by his own Catholic faith, Congressman Tom Perriello has worked hard to expand health insurance coverage to millions of Americans while easing the burdens of families and businesses, cutting wasteful health care spending, creating jobs, and providing special protections to pregnant women and young children.”

“I recognize that some may disagree with Congressman Perriello, and I thank God for the privilege to live in a nation that values free speech and open dialogue. This does not excuse using issues like abortion to score political points at the expense of the truth. The anti-health reform activists who gathered today to attack Congressman Perriello have charged that the new health reform law allows elective abortions to be funded through state high-risk pools. The evidence proves otherwise.”

“Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued clear directives prohibiting abortion funding in high-risk pools. These regulations were welcomed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning media fact-check organization Politifact concluded that the abortion funding allegations are not true.”

“Anti-reform activists know this, yet they insist on perpetuating the abortion funding myth in order to tarnish Congressman Perriello's record. The people of Virginia's Fifth Congressional District deserve more than dirty and divisive politics. We deserve an honest conversation about how best to address the challenges of our day: a struggling economy, job losses, expanding health care, curbing Wall Street abuses, and ending dependence on foreign oil. Congressman Perriello has proven himself a tireless leader on these important issues, and for that, we thank him.”

Today's press conference is part of a broader Catholics United campaign to set the record straight on health care reform and defend the records of leaders like Congressman Perriello. For more information, visit http://www.catholics-united.org/defend.

An abortion funding myth fact sheet is available at http://www.catholics-united.org/facts.