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Planned Parenthood Takes on the Bishops

BY Tim Drake

| Posted 11/5/09 at 6:57 AM

 

Last Wednesday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops began an unprecedented campaign encouraging all Catholics to oppose health-care reform that includes abortion funding.

In response, Planned Parenthood Federation’s president, Cecile Richards, has said that the bishops don’t represent all Catholics and is recruiting Catholics to contact their legislators to support the current health-care reform bills before Congress.

The two sides demonstrate the centrality of abortion in the existing legislation and the urgency of Catholics taking action in the debate as both the House and Senate prepare to vote.

In case you’ve somehow missed what the bishops have asked of you, here’s what you can do.

ACTION: Contact your congressional members through e-mail, telephone calls, or fax letters.

1. Send a prewritten, instant e-mail to Congress.
2. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or call your congressional members’ local offices. Information about local members can be found at www.House.gov and www.Senate.gov

MESSAGE to SENATE:“During floor debate on the health-care reform bill, please support an amendment to
incorporate long-standing policies against abortion funding and in favor of conscience rights. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”

MESSAGE to HOUSE:“Please support the Stupak amendment that addresses essential pro-life concerns on abortion funding and conscience rights in the health-care reform bill. Help ensure that the rule for the bill allows a vote on this amendment. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”

As part of the bishops’ effort, they have asked that every parish in the country distribute this bulletin insert prior to Sunday, Nov. 8.

They’ve also prepared this ad, which can be used by diocesan newspapers and others.

In addition, the bishops have asked that the following announcements be made at every parish the weekend that the bulletin announcement is distributed and the weekend following its distribution. There’s also a suggested prayer.

To be announced at all Masses on the weekend when the bulletin insert is distributed: 
Congress is preparing to debate health-care reform legislation. The Catholic bishops of the United States strongly support genuine health-care reform that protects the life and dignity of all, from the moment of conception until natural death. However, all current bills are seriously deficient on abortion and conscience rights, and do not yet provide adequate access to health care for immigrants and the poor.

In your pews/bulletins today, you’ll find a special flier/bulletin insert from the U.S. bishops’ conference asking you to please contact your representative and senators immediately and urge them to fix these bills with pro-life amendments. The flier/bulletin insert includes a web address that allows you to send an e-mail message to Congress with a click of a button. The bishops have asked for our swift action and the commitment of our prayers for this critical effort.  Thank you for your help.  We can help make sure that health-care reform will be about saving lives, not destroying them. 

To be announced at all Masses on the weekend following the bulletin insert distribution:
Congress is preparing to debate health-care reform legislation. The Catholic bishops of the United States strongly support genuine health-care reform that protects the life and dignity of all, from the moment of conception until natural death. However, all current bills are seriously deficient on abortion and conscience rights, and do not yet provide adequate access to health care for immigrants and the poor.

Last weekend you received a special flier/bulletin insert from the U.S. bishops’ conference asking you to please contact your representative and senators immediately and urge them to fix these bills with pro-life amendments. The flier/bulletin insert included a web address that allows you to send an e-mail message to Congress with a click of a button. Additional fliers/bulletin inserts can be found at___________ (back of church, etc.).  The bishops have asked for our swift action and the commitment of our prayers for this critical effort.  Thank you for your help. We can help make sure that health-care reform will be about saving lives, not destroying them. 

Suggested Prayer of the Faithful:
That Congress will act to ensure that needed health-care reform will truly protect the life, dignity and health care of all and that we will raise our voices to protect the unborn and the most vulnerable and to preserve our freedom of conscience. We pray to the Lord.

Banner ads and other materials to get the word out, can be found here.