WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) – The President of the United States is proceeding rapidly with Health Care reform. It appears that it will soon become the law of the land.
Concerns over the centralization of such a major new program within the increasingly bloated Federal Bureaucracy, questions concerning violations of the principle of subsidiarity in its implementation, and worries as to whether such an approach can provide efficiency and economy of scale are all legitimate. However, they simply are not carrying the day.
What leads me to write this article and sound the alarm is that an emergency looms as a result! The destruction of the lives of millions of our first neighbors, children in the first home of the womb, funded with taxpayer money, appears to be a part of this plan.
The current unavailability of health care to many is simply unjust. Most people acknowledge that the current method of delivering health care services must be reformed. This article deals with reality. Some version of the Presidents’ plan will pass. For Catholics, other Christians, (that is at least Christians who still adhere to the unbroken teaching concerning the dignity of every human person at every age and stage and have not compromised the truth), other people of faith and all people of good will who recognize the preeminent Natural Law Right to Life and the foundational freedom to be born, there is a resulting looming emergency. This Health Care Bill is about much more than the economic implications and loss of local control. This has become a matter of life and death.
The truth must be faced, ABORTION, other anti-life procedures and the deadly misuse of some technologies will soon, short of a major change, be treated as “health care services” to be covered under this new plan, funded with taxpayer dollars. All of this without the so called “robust conscience clause” promised by the President! If I am wrong, I truly welcome being corrected. At this point the most effective effort to deal with this matter of life or death seems to be the twenty Pro-Life House Democrats who sent a letter to their colleagues on Friday stating they “cannot support any health care reform proposal unless it explicitly excludes abortion from the scope of any government-defined or subsidized health insurance plan."
Democratic Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, one of the signers, said "I told leadership repeatedly, but they just sort of ignored us… They ignore at their own peril." The late great Governor Bob Casey, the last Democrat I supported for President, would be proud of these committed Democrats who hear the cry of all the poor. I hope that they, along with the efforts of heroes for life such as Chris Smith in the Republican Party, can prevail. However, we must be ready for the worst.
In a July 16, 2009 Press release, Bill Donohue, the President of the Catholic League summarized the situation well: "Exactly two weeks ago today, President Obama met with some Catholic journalists, telling them, 'I don't know any circumstances in which abortion is a happy circumstance or decision,'" said Donohue. "This begs the question: Why are his surrogates in the Democratic party pushing to make the public pay for a procedure that always makes women (and children) so unhappy?" Donohue noted that amendments offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch and Sen. Mike Enzi that would have prohibited the public funding of abortion in the healthcare bill were struck down, "all to the applause of the Obama administration."
He continued: "Something has got to give. If abortion is bad, then it makes no sense to subsidize it," said Donohue. "After all, there is a reason why we don't subsidize air or water pollution." In addition, said Donohue, Obama appears not to be keeping his famed pledge at Notre Dame for a "sensible conscience clause" to "honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion …This begs the question: Why are his surrogates in the Democratic Party pushing to kill conscience rights? To be exact, yesterday the Democrats killed an amendment by Sen. Tom Coburn to provide conscience-rights protections for health care workers. This is break point for Obama and Catholics. The president either means what he says when he talks to Catholics, or he doesn't."
On May 20, 2009 all of the U.S. Catholic Bishops, speaking through Bishop William F. Murphy, the Chairman of their Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, placed a statement in the Congressional Record at a formal roundtable discussion on “Expanding Health Care Coverage.” Along with some helpful proposals to guide honest health care reform it included this clear and unequivocal statement:
"While we support reforming our nation’s health care system, we must also be clear in strongly opposing inclusion of abortion as part of a national health care benefit. For decades, Congress has decided not to compel people to pay for abortions with their tax dollars, and this policy should remain in place. We also oppose inclusion of other procedures or technologies that attack or undermine the sanctity and dignity of life. No health care reform plan should compel us or others to pay for or participate in the destruction of human life. To preserve this principle is morally right and politically wise as well. No health care legislation that compels Americans to pay for or participate in abortion will find sufficient votes to pass.”
Sadly it appears that the President and Congress have disregarded our Bishops. They have also disregarded every American who supports the fundamental right to be born in this country. They appear ready to "compel us or others to pay for or participate in abortion". Every Catholic, other Christian, other person of faith and person of good who knows the truth about what is at stake must be prepared to refuse to participate in any “health care” system which funds the taking of innocent human life. We should consider ways we can band together to support one another in this resistance and provide alternatives for the medical care of people who participate in this just cause. Perhaps there will need to be a medical underground railroad for those medical practitioners who understand their oath and refuse to participate in the taking of human life.
There is an irony to my timing in writing this somber piece. I just yesterday wrote about the misguided fears which too often paralyze so many of us. However, this warning is not an effort to elicit fear but a realistic call to preparation for action. Short of a miracle, which I truly do believe in, we will soon face a time of necessary massive resistance. We who know the truth that every procured abortion takes an innocent human life cannot participate in any new health care plan which includes anti-life procedures under its definition of “health care services”.