Health care: we are at a crossroads Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Nov. 05, 2009 -- 1:00 AM

editor's view by Mary C. UhlerOur nation is at a crossroads in the health care debate. Congress has spent many months examining various health care reform proposals. Finally our representatives and senators are expected to be voting soon on concrete pieces of legislation.

Church supports health care

The Catholic Church has been a long-time supporter of access to health care in our country. Catholic hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics have provided much needed care for all people, regardless of their religious affiliation or ability to pay.

That’s why the Catholic Church has been in the forefront in encouraging our nation’s lawmakers to reform our health care system to provide better access to health care for everyone, especially for immigrants and the poor.

Protect life and dignity of all

However, the Catholic Church also wants to make sure that health care reform protects the life and dignity of all people in our nation from the moment of conception until natural death.

The Church also wants to ensure freedom of conscience for health care workers so that they are not required to perform abortions or other procedures that violate their ethical values.

Mobilizing Catholic citizens

In order to mobilize Catholic citizens, the United State Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has prepared bulletin inserts, pulpit announcements, and suggested prayers to be used in parishes across the country. More information is also available on the bishops’ Web site at

The bishops encourage parishioners to contact their representative and senators and urge them to make sure health care reform retains longstanding current policies against abortion funding and protects conscience rights.

Both the House and the Senate are preparing for floor votes. The time to act is now! Remember that we do need health care reform, but it should be about saving lives, not destroying them.