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BALTIMORE—The U.S. Senate should vote to remove four provisions that pose a direct threat to human life from a package of three appropriations bills, said the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. In a November 14 letter, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston urged the Senate to support amendments to H.R. 2354 that would correct each of these provisions.
“At a time when Congress is tempted to reduce even vitally important programs that serve the poorest and neediest people here and abroad, the moral wrong of expanding subsidies for direct violations of human life and dignity is especially egregious,” Cardinal DiNardo wrote.
He highlighted four areas of concern:
·A provision of the Senate’s Financial Services bill that “completely eliminates Congress’s longstanding provision against federal funding of health plans that cover elective abortions in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP),” which means “Congress will directly use taxpayers’ funds for elective abortion coverage – contradicting repeated assurances by supporters of the health care reform law of 2010 that Congress had no intent of doing so.”
·A second provision in the Financial Services bill that would allow congressionally appropriated funds to go to elective abortions in the District of Columbia.
·Report language accompanying the State /Foreign Operations bill that “recommends $40 million for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), despite that agency’s continued support for a brutal program of coerced abortion and involuntary sterilization in China.”
·Section 7086 of the State/Foreign Operations that would permanently ban restoration of the Mexico City Policy, a policy of the Reagan and Bush administrations that prevented U.S. funding of foreign non-governmental organizations that perform and promote abortion as a method of family planning.
“In fact the bill’s provision sweeps even more broadly, so that no harmful or destructive ‘health or medical service’ may render an organization ineligible for U.S. funds if that ‘service’ is permitted in the host country and ‘would not violate United Sates law,’” Cardinal DiNardo wrote of the last point. “In short, this provision effectively says that if a foreign nation allows medical personnel to abuse men, women and children, the United States will subsidize the perpetrators.”
Full text of Cardinal DiNardo’s letter is available online: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/abortion/upload/hr-2354-letter.pdf
Keywords: abortion, federal funding, federal health care plans, banning, funds, Mexico City policy, human rights, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, appropriations bills, minibus
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