Bishop Chairmen Call on U.S. Senate to Retain Longstanding, Bipartisan Pro-Life Policies 

October 22, 2021 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON - On Tuesday, the chairman of the U.S. Senate's Committee on Appropriations released the text of several appropriations bills which, like their House counterparts, currently exclude several longstanding, bipartisan provisions like the 46-year-old Hyde Amendment and the Weldon Amendment. Eliminating these provisions would force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions and would have the effect of forcing health care providers and professionals to perform and refer for abortion against their deeply-held beliefs, as well as forcing employers and insurers to cover and pay for abortion.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement:   

"The bills released by the Senate Appropriations chairman this week represent a radical departure from the will of the American people and the principle of justice for all. By proposing to eliminate the Hyde and Weldon Amendments, among other longstanding, bipartisan pro-life provisions, the Senate is staking out an extreme position of forcing taxpayers to pay for the taking of innocent unborn human life and forcing health care providers to participate in this injustice.  

"We recognize and appreciate that these bills also include many life-affirming provisions that help vulnerable people, including pregnant moms, refugees, low-income families, and the elderly. The laudable concern and support these provisions represent must also extend to our vulnerable brothers and sisters in the womb.

“We reiterate the fact that funding the destruction of innocent unborn human lives, and forcing people to participate, are grave abuses of human rights. We call on the Senate to prevent this injustice by passing appropriations bills that fully support and protect human dignity and the most vulnerable among us.” 

The U.S. bishops have made previous statements on upholding the dignity of life in appropriations bills:

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