Wisconsin Catholics vs. Abortion

Catholic Conference backs legislation to prohibit state-funded insurance from covering elective abortions. Catholic official: 'Abortion is not health care.'

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MADISON, Wis. (EWTN NEWS) — The Wisconsin Catholic Conference is backing legislation to prohibit insurance providers who participate in a state health-insurance exchange from covering elective abortion.

Conference associate director Barbara Sella, in a May 25 hearing before the Senate Committee on Public Health, Human Services and Revenue, voiced support for Senate Bill 92. She noted that the
Church has long advocated public funding for health care and health insurance for the needy.

“Abortion, however, is not health care,” Sella stated. “No other medical procedure deliberately terminates a human life. Women and children deserve health care, not abortion.”

States must create health-insurance exchanges to offer health insurance under the 2010 federal health-care legislation. Congress failed to pass statutory legislation to restrict abortion coverage in the exchanges, leaving such legislation to the individual states.

The legislation is sponsored by state Sen. Rich Zipperer, R-Pewaukee, and more than 35 other legislators.

Sella said that elective abortion has put “enormous pressure” on poor women to abort their children.

“Elective abortion sends the not-so-subtle message that one of the best ways to escape poverty is by eliminating the children of the poor,” she said.

Sella said the bill would send the message that true health care “respects the dignity of human life.” She also noted that the Supreme Court has ruled states have a legitimate interest in promoting childbirth over abortion.

Wisconsin Right to Life, Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Family Action are also backing the bill. Opponents include groups in favor of legal abortion like NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin and Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.


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