Cardinal Rigali Urges House Committee to Support Pro-Life Amendments to Health Care Reform Bill

July 31, 2009

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - Cardinal Justin Rigali, Chairman of the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, wrote on July 29 to the members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee urging them to amend “America’s Affordable Health Choices Act” (H.R. 3200) to retain longstanding government policies on abortion and conscience rights.

Cardinal Rigali reiterated criteria for “genuine health care reform” set forth by Bishop William Murphy, Chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Policy, in his letter to Congress on July 17.  He described health care as “a basic right belonging to all human beings, from conception to natural death” and said that “the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is working to ensure that needed health reform is not undermined by abandoning longstanding and widely supported policies against abortion funding and mandates and in favor of conscience protection.”

The Cardinal enumerated several problems with the bill as introduced: It would be used to mandate abortion coverage in private health plans, expand abortion funding, override state laws that limit or regulate abortion, and endanger existing laws protecting the conscience rights of health care providers.

“Much-needed reform must not become a vehicle for promoting an ‘abortion rights’ agenda or reversing longstanding current policies against federal abortion mandates and funding,” he wrote. “In this sense we urge you to make this legislation ‘abortion neutral’ by preserving longstanding federal policies that prevent government promotion of abortion and respect conscience rights.”

“Several federal laws have long protected the conscience rights of health care providers,” Cardinal Rigali added. “President Obama recently stated that he accepts these current laws and will do nothing to weaken them. Congress should make the same pledge, by ensuring that this legislation will maintain protection for conscience rights.”

The Cardinal closed by urging the House Energy and Commerce Committee to support amendments by Reps. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Joseph Pitts (R-PA) to address these problems in H.R. 3200. The full text of his letter is available at:

Keywords: Cardinal Rigali, USCCB, U.S. Bishops, pro-life, health care, health care reform, abortion, abortion funding, abortion neutral, conscience rights, conscience protection

For more information on the USCCB position on Health Care Reform, visit and


3 Responses to “Cardinal Rigali Urges House Committee to Support Pro-Life Amendments to Health Care Reform Bill”

  1. cath on July 31st, 2009 8:32 am

    DEATH DEALER OBAMA! All this health care talk has got to stop until Obama proves he’s a legal president. NO BIRTH CERTIFICATE EVER SHOWN! HAWAII REFUSES TO FOLLOW LAW! We need one of of OUR OWN KIND in the White house, not a Kenyan imposter!

  2. Theresa Banks on August 19th, 2009 10:52 pm

    What kind of drugs are you people doing? I say this because I’m hoping that you all are simply not this hopelessly and dangerously stupid. I have not turned my back on God but I have turned my back on the babbling idiots who publish this garbage. Shame on you, you say that you are pro-life, but you are trying to close the door on the opportunity for millions of sick Americans to finally receive the heath care they need to save their lives? What about them? God doesn’t value their lives? Why is it that a three week old zygote is worth fighting for but the life of a nine year-old child and her 40 year-old mother are not? Why don’t you go do something useful like try to help the millions of children each year in this country who suffer from physical and sexual abuse at the hands of abusive and neglectful parents instead fighting to make the make the birth-control pill and first-trimester abortions illegal? In short, get a life!

  3. Theresa Banks on August 19th, 2009 11:09 pm

    And as far as YOU go, CATH, God gave you your big brain to THINK. THINK CATH, THINK! Who’s been brainwashing you? Obama is most certainly a United States citizen and the legal president of this country. If you started using your big brain you may come to realize that Obama does care about human life, far more than you say you do. He is not pro-abortion. He does want to schools to effectively educate teenagers about all ways to prevent pregnancy unlike G.W. Bush, whom under the teen pregnancy rate sky-rocketed due to his abstinence only policy. Obama wants to prevent women from dying from illegal, deadly back-alley abortions (God DOES love these women too) by providing them with a safe, legal, EARLY option with exception ONLY when the life of the mother is in danger. Truth be told, under Obama’s plan MORE ABORTIONS WILL BE PREVENTED THAN UNDER G.W. BUSH PLAN AND MORE WILL BE PREVENTED THAN IF ABORTION WAS MADE ILLEGAL . If Obama reduces the number of abortions in this country more than any Republican ever will why aren’t you happy with that? Seems you don’t really care about preventing abortions at all; seems to me you just like the idea of being “right”. I don’t think that God cares much about things like false pride Cath, do you? I think if Jesus had walked this earth today he’d have been a Liberal.

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