Pro-Life Leaders React to Health Bill Outcome: Caution Outweighs Celebration
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Updated Nov. 13
By Kathleen Gilbert
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 9, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Amid praise for the pro-life Stupak amendment's momentous victory in the health care bill Saturday night, a two-pronged fear clearly emerged in the reaction of U.S. pro-life leaders: 1) the immense threats to pro-life values the health bill presents even without federal abortion funding, and, 2) the likelihood that the pro-life amendment itself will vanish in a later version of the bill.
Here is a collection of quotations from key pro-life leaders to give a taste of the pro-life reaction to the Saturday night drama on Capitol Hill:
- Jill Stanek (Nov. 13/09): "The healthcare bill in its entirety is an abomination against the sanctity of life that we must attempt to stop. I appreciate the research ALL has conducted and the work it is doing to stop the healthcare monstrosity."
- EWTN's Raymond Arroyo on Laura Ingraham show Nov. 13: Does this plan violate core Catholic principles? And just as Judie Brown points out, does it lead us down the in vitro fertilization, contraceptive, rationed health care path? What about he elderly? The elderly are targeted. There's a split, I believe, between the bishops and the staff (of the USCCB) on these key principles. More than 50 bishops came out and said 'wait a minute', the entire architecture of this plan violates the Catholic principle of subsidiarity, where the best decisions are made at the local levels with the least bureaucracy. The House bill violates that. Everyone wants universal health care. The question is how do do that."
- Family Research Council president Tony Perkins: "This is a huge pro-life victory for women, their unborn children, and families. We applaud this House vote which prohibits the abortion industry from further profiting from taxpayers by using government funds to pay for the gruesome act of abortion. ... Unfortunately, H.R. 3962 is a seriously flawed piece of legislation.
"The Speaker's bill still allows rationing of health care for seniors, raises health costs for families, mandates that families purchase under threat of fines and penalties, encourages counseling for assisted suicide in some states, does not offer broad conscience protections for health care workers and seeks to insert the federal government into all aspects of citizen's lives. Speaker Pelosi is using the guise of health care reform to push her version of social engineering onto American taxpayers."
- Population Research President Stephen M. Mosher: A Stupak Amendment is clearly not enough. It includes no conscience protection, and does nothing to prohibit hastening death. Other shortcomings abound. The House bill, for instance, permanently funds pornographic sex education for all students. It sets up an Institute of Medicine to study and make recommendations about Medicare, which may be the Trojan Horse to introduce rationing into the health care system. No matter how many amendments are passed, I do not believe that this legislative monstrosity serves the interests of unborn babies, or the elderly, or the rest of us. I, for one, do not want any part of Obamacare.
- Concerned Women for America president Wendy Wright: "This monstrous bill will ration and deny health care, pay for coercive 'end of life planning.' create multiple bureaucracies that will control Americans' health care, penalize Americans for not buying a product, fine Americans if a government agent decides their health care plan is not 'government approved,' and may force Americans to buy government mandated insurance that funds objectionable procedures. Although an amendment passed to bar federal funding of abortion, Democrat leaders refused to guarantee that it will be in the final bill. The vote on the amendment may have been a ruse to gain pro-life Democrats vote for the bill."
- American Life League President Judie Brown: "As the health care debate moves into the Senate, the pro-life movement must repudiate the half measures currently being touted as victory in some pro-life circles...Far too many vulnerable human beings' lives hang in the balance, not to mention the credibility and integrity of the entire pro-life effort."
"[The health bill's] instrumentalist approach to abortion will serve to enshrine in law grave injustices condemned unequivocally by the Catholic Church," she said. "Among these are rationed health care, In vitro fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, human experimentation, euthanasia and birth control."
- National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson: "Today's bipartisan House vote is a sharp blow to the White House's pro-abortion smuggling operation. But we know that the White House and pro-abortion congressional Democratic leaders will keep trying to enact government funding of abortion, and will keep trying to conceal their true intentions, so there is a long battle ahead."
- Americans United for Life president and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest: "The passage of this amendment is a victory for the pro-life Americans across this country who have flooded Congress this week with the message that abortion does not belong in health care. The bipartisan effort that led to its passage, under the leadership of Congressmen Bart Stupak and Joe Pitts, is a step toward a future where both political parties defend Life. ... We are deeply concerned by the rhetoric we heard today from Democratic leadership indicating an intention to subvert the bipartisan pro-life majority. We will remain vigilant in watching the final language of the Senate bill to ensure that pro-life protections remain in the final health care reform bill."
- Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser: "Tonight the House of Representatives made a principled and politically sound decision to continue our nation's longstanding policy of protecting taxpayers' conscience in the area of abortion funding. We urge the Senate to follow suit. We will remain vigilant, and shift our efforts to the Senate to ensure that these same pro-life protections are added to the Senate bill."
- Christian Defense Coalition president Rev. Patrick Mahoney: "This historic vote in the United States House of Representatives signals the beginning of the end for 'Roe v. Wade.' ... The pro-life community must now passionately and prayerfully work to ensure that taxpayer funded abortions are not a part of the Senate bill or any final vote on healthcare."