Just days after House Committee on Appropriations introduced the most pro-abortion funding bill in history, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a statement urging lawmakers to provide protections for the preborn.
The proposed Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriations bill eliminates both the Hyde Amendment and the Weldon Amendment. These two long-standing provisions offer important pro-life protections: the Hyde Amendment ensures that federal taxpayer dollars do not pay for most abortions, while the Weldon Amendment offers protections for healthcare workers and institutions who refuse to provide, cover, pay for, or refer for abortions.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chair of the USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a joint statement in which they call the bill, “the most extreme pro-abortion appropriations bill we have seen.” They wrote:
Abortion is not healthcare nor a ‘human service’ to anyone. Rather, abortion is inhumane. It is a painful death to an innocent baby, and often leaves women physically harmed and emotionally devastated.
We implore the House Committee on Appropriations to reverse course on these bills that currently expand taxpayer funding of abortion, and to restore the longstanding, bipartisan Hyde provisions and Weldon Amendment that have saved millions of lives and protected conscience rights. These bills include many other provisions and funding for critically-needed services that we support. Americans’ tax dollars should be used for the common good and welfare of all, not to finance abortion or force Americans to violate deeply-held beliefs.
The bishops also asked the Catholic faithful to contact their legislators and sign a petition, urging Congress to keep these important pro-life provisions, saying, “The lives of millions of vulnerable children, and the well-being of their mothers, depend on our advocacy.”
The draft LHHS bill was advanced by a subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee this week. It is expected to be considered by the full committee soon.
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