Outrageous: Liberal Catholics trying to lay health care reform blame on US bishops
This is about the ongoing struggle between democrats (and their friends) who want health care reform to include money for abortion, and pro-life Catholics who don't want money for abortions to be included in health care reform.
Here is a list of the most important players in this fight:
1) Cardinal Justin Rigali, head of the US Bishops' pro-life committee, and those who work for him
2) The leaders of the democrat party who are crafting health care legislation, and are eager to appease their pro-abortion supporter
3) Amy Sullivan (writing in TIME Magazine) and other media-type individuals (who falsely claim to present a "Catholic" perspective on health-care reform, like Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good) trying to give cover to the democrats and malign the pro-life activities of Cardinal Rigali and other pro-life Catholics
The latest salvo in this ongoing fight comes from Amy Sullivan, who wrote in TIME Magazine this weekend claiming that the US Bishops have been sending mixed and confused messages to democrats in Congress, making it impossible for democrats to honor the Bishops' demands that money not go to abortions in health care reform.
She claims that democrats in Congress were taken by surprise when Cardinal Rigali wrote this on October 8th:
"However, we [bishops] remain apprehensive when amendments protecting freedom of conscience and ensuring no taxpayer money for abortion are defeated in committee votes. If acceptable language in these areas cannot be found, we will have to oppose the health care bill vigorously."In fact, it is more accurate to say that Cardinal Rigali had seen through the democrat-sponsored Capps amendment as being nothing more than a shell game to sneak abortion funding into health care reform anyway, and so he wrote the above sentences with a clear message for the democrats in Congress: "enough is enough."
Eliminating money for abortion in health care reform would be as simple as approving any of the multiple pro-life amendments (such as the Stupak-Pitts Amendment) which have already been offered. But no - democrats have voted down every single pro-life amendment which has been offered during the long course of these deliberations.
Which leaves us with a very cold, obvious fact: the reason there is abortion funding in the current health care reform proposals is because democrats put it there, and have repeatedly kept it there.
Sorry, Amy, you can't blame the bishops for this one.
If you are interested in this topic, do also read what Deal Hudson and Steven Ertelt have written. Deal Hudson takes a look at what may be happening internally at the USCCB during these negotiations, while Steven Ertelt has an expert source briefing us on what has been happening politically in Congress.