Wednesday, March 23, 2011

California Catholic Daily - “Contrary to our faith”

Published: March 23, 2011

“Contrary to our faith”

CA bishops want Catholics to ask representatives to co-sponsor Abortion Non-Discrimination Act

The California Catholic Conference, the public policy arm of the state’s bishops, has issued an “action alert” urging Catholics to contact their representatives in Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act.

The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, introduced on Jan. 20 by U.S. Rep. John Flemming, R-Louisiana, currently has 65 co-sponsors, including four from California – representatives Ken Calvert, R-Corona, Wally Herger, R-Chico, Duncan D. Hunter, R-Alpine, and Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands. The bill is now under consideration in the House Subcommittee on Health.

“Your Congressional Representative is one of several in California who may be open to co-sponsoring HR 361, the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA),” said the California Catholic Conference alert. “The more co-sponsors for the bill, the more likely it will pass. By taking action now – asking your Representative to be a co-sponsor – you will get HR 361 off to a strong start in the U.S. House and greatly improve its prospects in Congress.”

“Passage of ANDA is especially important in California,” said the alert. “It is needed to protect the civil rights of health professionals and other health care entities, such as hospitals. HR 361 reaffirms a basic principle: Government may not use its considerable powers to coerce any health care provider to perform, participate in or pay for abortions.”

“ANDA is all the more urgent now because of coordinated state and national efforts to force health care providers to participate in abortions,” said the alert. “For example, here in California, the Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC), the state agency that regulates health insurance plans, claims that the Weldon amendment (federal conscience protection) does not apply to its actions and has indicated that it will not approve a health plan that does not pay for all ‘medically necessary abortions,’ very broadly defined.”

“As Catholics we cherish life and respect it,” said the bishops’ call to action. “Being forced to end a life – especially against our will – is contrary to our faith and contrary to the norms of our society. Please act now to ask your Representative to be a co-sponsor on HR 361.”