Take action against abortion mandates Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Jul. 23, 2009 -- 12:00 AM

editor's viewHealth care is a basic human right alongside food and shelter. All persons in the United States should be able to access good, affordable health care.

The injustice of millions of people in our country lacking access to health care must be remedied, says the Catholic Health Association (CHA) in its vision for Catholic health care reform.

Human dignity must be protected

While the CHA has been promoting health care reform, it emphasizes that human dignity must be the number one “core value” in health care reform: “Because each person is created in the image of God, each life is sacred and possesses inalienable worth. Health care is essential to promoting and protecting the inherent dignity of every individual from conception to natural death.”

Note the word “conception” in this statement. Proposed health care legislation being considered by the U.S. Congress — and supposedly supported by President Barack Obama — would mandate that abortion be covered. In its current form, the House bill (H.R. 3200) would vastly expand access to abortion on demand and establish federal funding of abortion.

Wisconsin Right to Life (WRTL) warns that H.R. 3200 “would result in federal mandates requiring the inclusion of elective abortion in virtually all heath care plans, both private and public. Other provisions would result in health care networks being required to create new abortion facilities to provide more access to elective abortions.”

In addition, Wisconsin Right to Life said that state laws that regulate the practice of abortion, such as Wisconsin’s laws requiring parental consent or waiting periods, would be subject to nullification by federal regulation or lawsuit. “The only way to prevent these results is to adopt an amendment that explicitly excludes abortion in all  of the bill’s provisions,” said WRTL.

Sneaking FOCA into health care reform

The bill would also provide federal subsidies for elective abortions, paid for by the American taxpayer. This seems to be running contrary to a recent opinion poll which found that 86 percent of Americans would significantly restrict abortions.

It seems as if Congress and the president are trying to sneak Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) provisions into health care reform legislation. Let’s make sure they don’t succeed in this effort!

Take immediate action

Time is short, because the House is expected to vote on its version of health care reform around July 29. The Senate could vote shortly after that time.

Voters concerned about the sanctity of human life should contact their House member and their two U.S. senators today. E-mail or call Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold and your congressional representative. Urge them to oppose any federal health care reform legislation that does not explicitly exclude abortions. The offices of senators can be reached through 202-224-3121 or go to for more information.