Statement of U.S. Bishops’ President on Abortion Funding in American Rescue Plan
Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows:
“Our nation needs to heal, come together, and help one another. The American Rescue Plan is an important step in the right direction. It should provide much needed assistance for American families and businesses hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“However, we are deeply concerned that this important legislation, as written, risks creating new divisions by abandoning a longstanding bipartisan compromise that respects the consciences of millions of Americans.
“For 45 years, the United States Congress – whether controlled by Democrats or Republicans – has maintained that taxpayers should not be forced against their conscience to pay for abortions. Abandoning this compromise in a time of national emergency only serves to divide people in the very moment we should be united. Please, let us instead focus on delivering the COVID relief so desperately needed.
“We urge President Biden and the leadership on Capitol Hill not to force upon Americans the wrenching moral decision whether to preserve the lives and health of the born or unborn, all of whom are our vulnerable neighbors in need. We ask that our leaders please not pit people against one another in such a way. We ask all Members of Congress to include the same protections against abortion funding that have been present in every COVID relief bill to date, and every annual spending bill for almost half a century.”
Urgent Action needed to prevent taxpayer funding for abortion in COVID Relief Bill
Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new COVID relief bill, called the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which addresses the needs of many vulnerable people related to the pandemic. Unfortunately, unlike previous COVID relief bills, this bill appropriates billions of taxpayer dollars that are not subject to longstanding, bi-partisan pro-life protections that are needed to prevent this funding from paying for abortions. The Senate is expected to vote this week.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote to Congress to express its support for additional COVID-19 relief that prioritizes the poor and vulnerable and its strong opposition to any taxpayer dollars going to abortion as part of this legislation, saying that the Hyde Amendment policy must be included before this bill moves forward. Your voice is critically needed today to tell your senators to support amendments that prevent abortion funding, and to work for their inclusion in the final bill.
The Equality Act discriminates against people of faith and threatens unborn life. Tell Congress to oppose it!
Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. The Equality Act, which is being voted on in the U.S. House of Representatives soon, in many ways does the opposite and needs to be opposed. Instead of respecting differences in beliefs about marriage and sexuality, the Equality Act would discriminate against people of faith. The Equality Act would: punish faith-based organizations, such as charities and schools who serve everyone in their communities, simply because of their beliefs; force girls and women to compete against boys and men for limited opportunities in sports, and to share locker rooms and shower spaces with biological males who identify as women; risk mandating taxpayers to fund abortions; force people in everyday life, and especially health care workers, to support gender transition; and expand what the government considers a “public” place, forcing even some parish halls to host functions that conflict with Catholic beliefs.
More on the Equality Act: USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities NEWS RELEASE
Oppose Doctor-Assisted Suicide
Proponents of doctor-assisted suicide are pushing their agenda in states across the country, and New York is in their sights. They seek to make it legal for terminally ill patients to receive life-ending drugs. These policies are dangerous for patients, caregivers, and vulnerable populations such as the elderly and persons who are disabled. Suicide is not medical care. Please tell your Senate and Assembly representatives that you oppose this dangerous and deadly practice.
Compose and send a message to your elected officials now!
New York State Catholic Conference
The New York State Catholic Conference represents the Bishops of the state in working with government to shape laws and policies that pursue social justice, respect for life and the common good. We provide a unified voice for the eight dioceses of the state to speak on such issues as education, poverty, family life, abortion, assisted suicide and euthanasia, social services, health care, criminal justice and the environment. We apply the principles of Catholic social teaching to critical issues of the day and encourage citizen involvement in the legislative process.
The Catholic Action Network (CAN), an arm of the Catholic Conference, gives us all a larger voice in the halls of government. Through our email and social media alerts, CAN reaches tens of thousands of Catholics like you to provide educational updates on the important issues being debated and to provide the tools to simplify the process of contacting your elected officials.
Encourage your whole parish to sign-up and join the Network.
USCCB Action Center
Visit the USCCB Action Center to view our current action alerts and sign up for future alerts so that you can contact your elected representatives to express your concerns and opinions on upcoming legislation.
Encourage your whole parish to register for action center alerts.