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Bishops warn against funding abortion in reconciliation bill | Catholic National Register

By on September 17, 2021 0

Pro-life leaders have warned that healthcare spending in the bill could fund abortions, unless specific pro-life language is added to legislation to block such funding.

WASHINGTON – The U.S. bishops’ conference on Friday warned against funding abortion in a massive spending bill under consideration by Congress.

“Congress can and must waive including taxpayer funding for abortion in the Build Back Better Act,” said Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, chairman of the Pro-Life Committee of American Bishops, and Archbishop Paul Coakley. of Oklahoma City, chairman of the bishops’ committee on national justice and human development.

“We urge all members of Congress and the administration to work in good faith to advance important and vital health care arrangements without forcing Americans to pay for the willful destruction of unborn human lives,” said they declared.

This week, House committees put forward parts of a federal spending program that could ultimately total $ 3.5 trillion. The package would include various policy priorities of the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats, such as funding for universal preschool, free tuition for a two-year community college, investments in “green” energy. and a path to citizenship for millions of immigrants.

Some proposals supported by the American Bishops’ Conference are included in the health care portions of the package. These include expanding Medicaid coverage, postpartum coverage for mothers, and funding for the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

“Catholic bishops have been strong supporters of proposals at the federal and state levels that ensure access to affordable health care for all,” Archbishop Naumann and Bishop Coakley said on Friday.

“However, the legislation put forward by the two House committees also funds abortion, the deliberate destruction of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters – those in the womb. This cannot be included,” they said. they stated.

Pro-life leaders have warned that healthcare spending in the bill could fund abortions, unless specific pro-life language is added to legislation to block such funding. Federal dollars could fund abortion coverage through the Affordable Care Act health grants and the creation of a parallel Medicaid structure for states that have refused to expand Medicaid.

Some members, such as Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, R-Wash., And Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Arizona, have attempted to insert amendments to the reconciliation bill banning abortion funding; these attempts were blocked this week, during hearings of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

The budget package is expected to go through the “reconciliation” process, the process by which budget-related items can pass through the Senate with only a simple majority vote. It is envisaged in addition to the government’s usual financing “appropriations” bills for the 2022 fiscal year.

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