The Senate health bill and the abortion issue

In mid-March Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, a law professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law and co-author of “Health Law,” a casebook used in teaching health law at schools nationwide, faced off with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Senate health reform legislation and the issue of federal funding of abortion and conscience protections, as we wrote here. We thought you might want to read the documents for yourselves.

First Jost wrote in The Hill newspaper that the abortion debate must not stop health care reform. The USCCB responded the next day with a four-page statement on “What’s wrong with the Senate health care bill on abortion?” Jost came back March 14 with a seven-page document.

Meanwhile, just this morning an opinion piece by three bishops was published in The Washington Post . It’s by the chairmen of the bishops’ pro-life, migration and domestic policy committees.

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4 Responses to The Senate health bill and the abortion issue

  1. Jeff Miller says:

    I found your article from yesterday to be very odd. For example

    “The USCCB analysis had a similar message on abortion in response to those who, like Jost, see no “significant differences” between the House and Senate bills on abortion.”

    Infers that Sr. Keehan had the same view as the USCCB when they are in fact supporting the Senate version of the bill against the USCCB. Her message is not similar. She supports the bill – the USCCB does not. I am not sure why your article gave so much attention to Jost who is clearly lying here. He would make it seem that the pro-life members of the House do not understand legislation, much less the USCCB. His position should not be taken seriously at all.

    Funny I thought CNS was part of the USCCB, not some news org that would print lies in support of the pro-abortion agenda in the name of faux fairness. Maybe what I am saying is too strong. But I am not the only one to react to your article in the same way.

  2. Jim Lackey says:

    We felt that what made the Jost column news was not so much that he wrote it but that the USCCB felt it necessary to post a reply. It would be difficult to write about the USCCB’s reply without reporting on what Jost said to prompt it. Jost got “the last word” only because he had the last thing to say in this back and forth.

    Yes, we are a part of the USCCB, but we are also financially self-sustaining. In our 80-year history we always have adhered to professional journalistic practices while being faithful to the church. For more on our history and why we operate the way we do, check out our “about” section at .

    Jim Lackey
    CNS Web Editor

  3. Jim says:

    I listened to Professor Jost on NPR today. When asked the reasons for the root of the problem regarding support for the Senate health care bill he said, “Trust” I think he is exactly right. It comes down to who do I trust – A President who voted against the born alive protection act? An administration which promotes abortion abroad with our tax dollars? A President who supports and funds the use of human embryos in stem cell research? A political Party, which has a President and many members who have been endorsed, bought and paid for by NARL and Planned Parenthood? A party which has a platform which would force Catholic Pharmacists to dispense abortion drugs? OR do I trust the Catholic Bishops of this country who have been faithful in their defense of the fundmental right to life and human dignity , the freedom of religion, the dignity of marriage between a man and a woman and the right to freedom of conscience?

  4. Paul Danello says:

    In view of the public defiance of American Catholic bishops and the USCCB by the Catholic Health Association, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, and, according to your report, the dozens of religious congregations that sponsor hospitals, CNS needs to start its reporting on a major schism opening in the American Catholic Church. What meaning does “Catholic health care” have under such circumstances? How are these religious orders and their members either “Catholic” or “religious”? What steps or sanctions are being undertaken by Catholic bishops to address the scandal and wonderment to the American Catholic faithful where major elements of the Church are in open conflict?

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