In a letter just released, the three Catholic bishops leading the Church’s efforts on health care warned Congress that “we will have no choice but to oppose the bill” unless current bills are amended.
The letter signed by Bishop William Murphy, Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop John Wester outlines three main areas of concern: “that no one should be forced to pay for or participate in abortion, that health care should be affordable and available to the poor and vulnerable, and that the needs of legal immigrants should be met.”
Of those, of course, abortion poses the gravest threat to the bill. The bishops simply don’t buy the argument that House Democrats found a way to block public funding for abortions with the Capps amendment, and they insist that the Hyde amendment doesn’t apply to the bills because they are not appropriations measures. A sizable bloc of House Democrats, led by Bart Stupak of Michigan, agree and are pressuring for a clear prohibition on public funding.
Add this to the list of complications I outlined this morning. Here’s the Bishop’s letter. - George Stephanopoulos