Dear friends in Christ,
We as a Church and as individual citizens of this country have an opportunity to effect a great good, but we need to act quickly.
We support health care reform:
There is no question that our country is in need of health care reform. The bishops of the United States stand together and for years have been clear in encouraging the passage of a truly universal health policy — one which maintains a respect for human life and dignity, which provides access for all with a special concern for the poor and inclusion of immigrants, and one which pursues the common good and preserves pluralism, including freedom of conscience and variety of options. Simply, we as a Church support a health care policy which covers as many people as possible, that respects human life and does nothing to destroy it, and which allows us, and people of all faiths, to participate without violating the moral law. This is possible, and this is reasonable.
Where we are currently:
The bill passed by the House of Representatives contains the promising Stupak-Pitt Amendment. This amendment reaffirms the essential, longstanding, and widely supported policy against using federal funds for elective abortion coverage. It allows citizens who recognize the destructive nature of abortion to participate with good conscience in this proposed health care program.
The Senate bill, on the other hand, rejected this policy and passed health care reform that requires federal funds to help subsidize and promote health plans that cover elective abortions: something we can never support.
These two bills must now be combined into one bill that both the House and Senate will vote on in final form. The lives of preborn children, the right of conscience for all citizens, our religious liberties, the rights of immigrants and the poor, and the overall respect for the dignity of the human person are at stake in this debate. Your help is needed.
Please contact your congressional representatives immediately and urge them to address these moral issues.
Call, fax, e-mail, and/or send a pre-written, instant e-mail to Congress by visiting www.usccb.org/action Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices. The phone numbers for our senators are: Senator Feingold, 202-224-5323; Senator Kohl, 202-224-5653.
We have a responsibility to stand up and be a voice for the voiceless: to promote the sanctity of life, protect the rights of sound conscience for all citizens, and to defend the dignity of the human person. Please contact your legislators and make our positions on health care clear. Thank you and may God bless you.
Respectfully Yours in Christ,
The Most Rev. Robert C. Morlino
Bishop of Madison