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Congress is preparing to debate health care reform legislation on the House and Senate floors. The U.S. bishops’ conference has concluded that all committee-approved bills are seriously deficient on the issues of abortion and conscience, as well as on access to health care for immigrants and the poor.
The pro-life cause is at a crossroads. Policies adopted on abortion will have an impact for good or ill for years to come. Please click on the link below to send messages to your Representative and Senators today!
In the House, three committees—Education and Labor, Ways and Means, and Energy and Commerce—have reported different versions of the America’s Affordable Health Choices Act (H.R. 3200). In the Senate, two committees have marked up different bills: the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has voted out the Affordable Health Choices Act (S. 1679); the Finance Committee has completed markup of its conceptual America’s Healthy Future Act, but has not yet reported the bill (no number).
None of the bills retains longstanding current policies against abortion funding or abortion coverage mandates, and none fully protects conscience rights in health care. As the U.S. bishops’ letter of October 8 states:
“No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion. It is essential that the legislation clearly apply to this new program longstanding and widely supported federal restrictions on abortion funding and mandates, and protections for rights of conscience. No current bill meets this test…. If acceptable language in these areas cannot be found, we will have to oppose the health care bill vigorously.”
Democratic leaders are attempting to put together final bills for floor consideration. At this point the schedule is uncertain, but floor debate could begin in a couple of weeks. In the House, it is critical that the Rule governing floor debate allow a vote on a pro-life amendment to correct the serious flaws in the health care reform legislation.
Please send your messages now! Thanks!
National Committee for a Human Life Amendment