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U.S. bishops renew calls against public funding for abortion



The bishops of the United States are again calling on Congress to reject provisions of the Biden administration’s “Build Back Better Act” that would provide public funding for abortion services.

By Lisa Zengarini

U.S. bishops have once again called on lawmakers not to increase taxpayer funding for abortion, reiterating the position expressed in a letter sent to Congress on September 7 on the next budget reconciliation bill.

The letter, among others, urged senators and representatives not to adopt “provisions facilitating and financing the destruction of unborn human life,” saying that if these provisions were included in the bill, they would be included in the bill. would oppose.

Provisions on the financing of abortion still in the bill

However, on September 15, the House Ways and Means and Energy and Trade Committees of the House proposed legislation containing the tax elements of the “Build Back Better Act” – President Biden’s stimulus package – without removing abortion funding provisions nor include the Hyde Amendment.

For nearly 40 years, this bipartisan legislative provision prohibited the use of federal funds to pay for abortion, with few exceptions, including rape.

Americans shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortion

The US bishops responded to the move with a statement calling on Congress to “drop the inclusion of taxpayer funding for abortion in the Build Back Better Act.”

While reiterating their support for the other measures contained in the Build Back Better Act, aimed at improving health care coverage for those in need in the United States, the statement insists that the funding provisions abortion should be removed from the bill.

They therefore urge all members of Congress and the administration “to work in good faith to advance important and vital health care arrangements without forcing Americans to pay for the willful destruction of unborn human lives.”

The declaration is signed by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ (USCCB) pro-life activities committee, and by Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, committee chairman of the ‘USCCB on National Justice and Human Development.