, Pro Life
» Catholic Bishops Tell Congress: Don't Turn Military Hospitals in Abortion Centers
by Steven Ertelt
June 29, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The nation’s Catholic bishops have a message for members of Congress: don’t turn American taxpayer-funded military base hospitals into abortion centers. They are oppose language in a Senate bill that would overturn the ban on abortions at the approximately 250 military base hospitals.
Sen. Roland Burris attached an amendment to a bill in the Senate Armed Services Committee that received a 15-12 vote.
All Democrats supported it except for Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who joined all of the committee’s Republicans in opposition.
In a June 29 letter to members of the Senate, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said authorizing abortions at military hospitals in this country and around the world is “misguided.”
He urged lawmakers to vote for an expected amendment that would remove the Burris language from the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 3454).
Cardinal DiNardo said it was disingenuous to suggest, as the amendment’s proponents have, that the amendment is “moderate” in requiring patients at military facilities to pay for their abortions.
“Which is a more direct governmental involvement in abortion: That the government reimburses someone else for having done an abortion, or that the government performs the abortion itself and accepts payment for doing so?” the Cardinal wrote.
He cited a 1989 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court saying that “the State need not commit any resources to facilitating abortions, even if it can turn a profit by doing so.”
Cardinal DiNardo also noted the longstanding nature of the current policy against providing abortions at military health facilities, which has been in place for 22 years with the exception of 1993-1995.
“During the brief period when these facilities were told to make abortions available, scarcely any military physician could be found in overseas facilities who was willing to perform abortions,” the Cardinal noted. More…
Bishops, Pro Life