On Wednesday, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce advanced portions of the reconciliation bill without removing abortion funding provisions or including the Hyde Amendment to prohibit taxpayer funding of abortion. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued the following statement following markup of the Build Back Better Act by the two House committees.
“Catholic bishops have been strong advocates for proposals at both the federal and state level that ensure all people will have access to affordable healthcare, including Medicaid expansion proposals. We are encouraged by several healthcare provisions in portions of the Build Back Better Act that will improve healthcare coverage for those in need, including enhanced postpartum coverage and other investments to address the high rates of preventable maternal deaths in the United States, expanded access to in-home care for family members, support for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and pre-release Medicaid coverage for returning citizens.
“However, the legislative text advanced by the two House committees also funds abortion, the deliberate destruction of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters – those in the womb. This cannot be included. Congress can, and must, turn back from including taxpayer funding of abortion, in the Build Back Better Act. We urge all members of Congress and the Administration to work in good faith to advance important and life-saving healthcare provisions without forcing Americans to pay for the deliberate destruction of unborn human life.”
On September 7, five USCCB chairmen wrote to Congress outlining their priorities for the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Reconciliation bill. In this letter, the bishops reiterated that if this bill expands taxpayer funding of abortion the USCCB would oppose it.
The above comes from a Sept. 17 release from the USCCB.