A day after the US Bishops publicized their message calling on Congress not to fund abortions with taxpayer dollars, the President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life (PAV) also criticized the proposal.
Writing on behalf of the bishops as chairman of their Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, NY, told Congress, “we strongly oppose inclusion of abortion as part of a national health care benefit.” The letter, sent July 17, but only made public July 21, added: “No health care reform plan should compel us or others to pay for the destruction of human life, whether through government funding or mandatory coverage of abortion. Any such action would be morally wrong.” The letter included opposition to funding contraceptives and other ant-life life technologies. “We would also oppose inclusion of technologies that similarly fail to uphold the sanctity and dignity of life,” it said.
Meanwhile in Rome today, the Archbishop Salvatore (Rino) Fisichella, was interviewed on Vatican Radio speaking against public funding of abortion. “(I)t appears that there may be, in the United States, a further increase of public money in support of abortion,” said the PAV President. Fisichella noted that especially in a time of economic crisis, such measures cause confusion for all those concerned with true develepment, which is open to life.
After citing protections from public funding of abortion in U.S. law, Bishop Murphy added, “Health care reform cannot be a vehicle for abandoning this consensus which respects freedom of conscience and honors our best American traditions. Any legislation should reflect longstanding and widely supported current policies on abortion funding, mandates and conscience protections because they represent sound morality, wise policy and political reality.”
The full text of Bishop Murphy’s letter can be found online at: www.usccb.org/sdwp/national/2009-07-17-murphy-letter-congress.pdf