US CATHOLIC BISHOPS ENCOURAGE VIGILANCE THAT HEALTH CARE LEGISLATION PROTECTS CONSCIENCE, DOES NOT FUND ABORTION

The U.S. bishops called on Congress and people in the Catholic community to make sure promises are kept that new health care legislation will not expand abortions in the United States. Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, made the call March 23, moments after president Barack Obama signed the Senate version of health care reform legislation approved by the House of Representatives by a slim margin, March 21. The statement was approved unanimously by the 32-member Administrative Committee of the USCCB. “We applaud the effort to expand health care to all,” Cardinal George said. He noted concerns about the legislation, including that “the statute forces all those who choose federally subsidized plans that cover abortion to pay for other people’s abortions with their own funds.”