Monday, December 7, 2009

U.S. bishops give support to Senate abortion amendment

Washington D.C., Dec 7, 2009 / 02:18 pm (CNA) On Monday Dec. 7, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) gave its support to an amendment to the health care bill that would prevent federally funded abortions. The bishops' backing was made known in a letter sent to all U.S. Senators.

“We urgently ask you to support an essential amendment to be offered by Senators Ben Nelson (D-NE), Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Robert Casey (D-PA) to keep in place the longstanding and widely supported federal policy against government funding of health coverage that includes elective abortions,” the letter says.

The Senate is scheduled to vote today on the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment which contains language similar to the House's Stupak-Pitts amendment and prevents U.S. taxpayer dollars from funding health care plans that cover abortions.

In addition, the USCCB faults the Senate legislation for not protecting health care providers' consciences, stating that the bill as it stands “does not maintain essential nondiscrimination protections for providers who decline involvement in abortion. The Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment simply corrects these grave departures from current federal policy.”

The letter to all senators is dated December 7 and is signed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Bishops William Murphy and John Wester.

The Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment needs 60 votes in the 100-member Senate in order to pass.

Nelson, Bipartisan Lawmakers File Amendment to Stop Abortion Funding, Mandates

Senator Ben Nelson and a bipartisan group of lawmakers have officially filed the amendment to the Senate's government-run health care bill to remove the abortion funding from it. The Nelson amendment would also limit the effect of the Milulski amendment that could allow insurance mandates for abortion.

Nelson, a Nebraska Democrat, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, are leading the amendment effort.

A bipartisan group of senators have joined them by adding their names to the amendment, including Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, and Republican Sens. Sam Brownback of Kansas, John Thune of South Dakota, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Mike Johanns of Nebraska, Vitter of Louisiana, and Mike Enzi and John Barrasso of Wyoming.

“As written, the Senate health care bill allows taxpayer dollars, directly and indirectly, to pay for insurance plans that cover abortion. Most Nebraskans, and Americans, do not favor using public funds to cover abortion and as a result this bill shouldn’t open the door to do so,” said Senator Nelson.

story here

Senate to vote on pro-life amendment today

cross-posted from A Catholic View

The Senate may vote on Monday on an amendment to cut the massive abortion funding found in the Senate's version of the government-run health care bill. With two pro-abortion Republicans expected to defect and not enough Democrats to back the amendment, it is expected to fail.

Sen. Ben Nelson, a pro-life Nebraska Democrat, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, are behind the amendment, which is very similar to the Stupak amendment the House added to its bill.

Senate leader Harry Reid announced today(Sunday) that the Senate will vote on the Nelson amendment on Monday.

story here

Health Care vs. the Value of Human Life

 An amazing article from Pajamas Media by by Sarah Durand:

Under the Democrats’ proposed health care reform legislation, we know that the government will have to determine some sort of rationing system in order to control costs. We are aware that part of the rationing will be absorbed in the discrimination that the bill inflicts upon the elderly; we know that it cuts $500 billion from Medicare. What has remained puzzling is how exactly this rationing will be determined for the rest of us. Similarly elusive is how the new Health Benefits Advisory Committee will decide whether or not you get certain medical treatments, regardless of the opinion of your doctor. After all, how do you put a dollar value on a human life?

Read the entire article here.