US Church backs abortion funding: CEN 12.18.09 p 5. December 28, 2009Posted by geoconger in Abortion/Euthanasia/Biotechnology, Church of England Newspaper, The Episcopal Church.
The Episcopal Church has endorsed a letter to members of the United States Senate endorsing taxpayer funding of abortions.
On Dec 4, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice released a letter endorsed by the Episcopal Church, Catholics for Choice and other liberal religious groups expressing their opposition to an amendment to the health care reform bill before Congress that would remove abortion funding from the proposed legislation.
“We believe that it is our social and moral obligation to ensure access to high quality comprehensive health care services at every stage in an individual’s life,” the RCRC letter said, noting that “affordable and accessible care for all” was “necessary for the well-being of all people in our nation.”
Abortion was an essential element of this health care, the letter said. The RCRC claimed the “House-passed version of health reform includes language that imposes significant new restrictions on access to abortion services. This provision would result in women losing health coverage they currently have, an unfortunate contradiction to the basic guiding principle of health care reform.”
Providing abortion coverage in the bill was “a moral imperative” and the “selective withdrawal of critical health coverage from women is both a violation of this imperative and a betrayal of the public good.”
The RCRC claimed the current bill was “abortion neutral” and prohibited “federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services, while still allowing women the option to use their own private funds to pay for abortion care.” However, this claim cannot be substantiated by the language of the bill, Republicans and pro-life Democrats in the Senate have charged, rejecting claims it was “neutral.”
Neva Rae Fox, a spokesman for the Episcopal Church, denied the letter called for public funding of abortions, saying it “simply asks that the Senate maintain current language on abortion, which takes a neutral position.”
The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations endorsed the letter on behalf of the whole church “based on longstanding policies of the Church,” she said.
The interim director of the Government Relations office, Alexander Baumgarten said the church stance on abortion, which allowed it to commit the church to the RCRC’s letter, was based on a 1982 General Convention resolution which stated the church “expresses its unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions [on abortion] and to act upon them.”
Georgette Forney, president of Anglicans for Life, told The Church of England Newspaper the “only honest sentence” in the RCRC letter was the affirmation of “our social and moral obligation to ensure access to health care at every stage of a person’s life. Sadly their definition of life doesn’t include human beings in the womb.”
She challenged the accuracy of the RCRC’s claims, saying the letter “misrepresent many facts including falsely stating the House bill would limit women’s access to abortion and cause them to lose existing insurance coverage for abortion. “
“If the RCRC and the denominations they represent really cared about women and their health, they would be working in partnership with pregnancy resource centers, where volunteers provide real choices for women facing unexpected pregnancies,” Ms. Forney said, “instead the RCRC members endorse using our tax dollars pay abortion clinics to harm women and kill their babies.”
“Abortion is not health care and is not good for women’s health,” she said.