Northwest Pennsylvania Catholics United Members Defend Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper’s Vote on Health Care Reform Bill

Posted August 16, 2010

People of Faith Aim to “Set the Record Straight” about Abortion Funding Myth

Local members of the group Catholics United joined other members of the faith community at a public gathering today to support Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper'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 the Republican-affiliated Susan B. Anthony List, which falsely claims that elective abortions are being funded through health care reform legislation passed earlier this year. Numerous health care policy experts, including the Catholic Health Association, have determined that health care reform does not permit abortion funding.


Catholics United members gather in Erie to protest of
the Susan B. Anthony List's misleading bus tour.

"The Susan B. Anthony List is little more than a partisan front group, which uses issues like abortion to confuse voters and to score cheap political points,” said Dave Robinson, executive director of Pax Christi USA and a resident of Union City. “The health care reform bill that Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper voted for is a huge victory for the pro-life cause. In addition to prohibiting federal funding of abortion, it extends health care to millions, and provides special protections for pregnant women and young children. We want the residents of Pennsylvania's Third Congressional District to know that many people of faith support this important legislation."

Anti-reform voices are also claiming that elective abortions are being funded through high-risk health insurance pools in several states, including Pennsylvania. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued clear directives prohibiting such funding, and the Pulitzer Prize-winning news organization PolitiFact has debunked these charges.

“Despite ample evidence to the contrary, the religious right is spreading lies about federal funding of abortion in order to manipulate voters. Multiple policy experts and fact-check organizations assert that health care reform does not fund abortion,” said Chris Korzen, executive director of Catholics United. “These anti-health care reform activists are either woefully ignorant of the legislation or willfully misleading the public. In either case, this behavior has a corrosive effect on our public debate.”

Today's counter-rally is part of a broader Catholics United campaign to set the record straight on health care reform and defend the records of leaders like Kathy Dahlkemper. For more information, visit www.catholics-united.org/defend.

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