Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
The U.S. bishops have set up a health-care reform website at http://www.usccb.org/healthcare/.
The website reasserts the bishops’ support for the principle of health-care reform, stating:
Access to health care should not depend on where a person works, how much a family earns, or where a person lives. Instead, every person, created in the image and likeness of God, has a right to life and to those things necessary to sustain life, including affordable, quality health care. This teaching is rooted in the biblical call to heal the sick and to serve “the least of these,” our concern for human life and dignity, and the principle of the common good. Unfortunately, tens of millions of Americans do not have health insurance. According to the Catholic bishops of the United States, the current health care system is in need of fundamental reform.
But the bishops juxtapose this restatement of their commitment to health-care reform with the Aug. 7 article, titled “Lines in the Sand”, that was written by Tom Grenchik, executive director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Grenchik’s article stresses that any reform plan that fails to respect the sanctity of unborn human lives, by including funding for abortion services, is utterly unacceptable to Catholics.
As Congress takes its vacation, various proposals have been left behind. These proposals need to be examined to see how well they provide accessible, affordable and quality health care and how they impact immigrants and the poor. But one thing is certain. The bills approved so far by House and Senate committees include mandated abortion coverage and abortion funding, and that is a line we can never cross.