By Dave Andrusko
On July 13, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued a joint statement harshly criticizing a House committee appropriations bill that they characterized as “the most extreme pro-abortion appropriations bill we have seen effectively mandating healthcare professionals to participate in abortion, and forcing American citizens to pay for abortion with their tax dollars.”
The two U.S. bishops’ committee chairmen were referring to the House Committee on Appropriations which will be marking up the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) appropriations bill, which currently excludes the 46-year-old Hyde Amendment and other longstanding, bipartisan provisions including the Weldon Amendment.
“By eliminating the Hyde Amendment, and other Hyde-like policies, the financial fruits of Americans’ labor would advance the destruction of the smallest, most vulnerable humans,” they wrote. “Eliminating the Weldon Amendment would be an egregious violation of conscience rights by forcing individuals and entities to perform, pay for, or otherwise participate in an abortion against their beliefs. Abortion is not healthcare nor a ‘human service’ to anyone. Rather, abortion is inhumane. It is a painful death to an innocent baby, and often leaves women physically harmed and emotionally devastated.”
Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Naumann called on “all Catholics and all people of good will to contact their legislators and make their voices heard. The lives of millions of vulnerable children, and the well-being of their mothers, depend on our advocacy.”