The Bishops Respond

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Asked–and answered. It sounds like the Catholic bishops conference won’t need time to consider whether to oppose health reform because of objections to coverage for abortion services. A handful of Catholic leaders, led by USCCB president Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, released a statement yesterday expressing their “deep disappointment” over the defeat of the Nelson amendment in the Senate. And they warned that if the Stupak amendment language gets watered down or stripped out during conference committee, they will oppose the final passage of health reform. Said George:

“While we deplore the Senate’s refusal to adopt the Nelson-Hatch-Casey amendment, we remain hopeful that the protections overwhelmingly passed by the House will be incorporated into needed reform legislation. Failure to exclude abortion funding will turn allies into adversaries and require us and others to oppose this bill because it abandons both principle and precedent.” [emphasis mine]