Bishops are continuing to comment on the new health care reform law and President Barack Obama’s executive order intended to guarantee that no federal funding goes to abortions under the new system. And the buzz is overwhelmingly negative.
Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, N.D., says the law’s shortcomings in terms of abortion funding and conscience protections are “grave and serious matters” that are not resolved by the executive order. “Where the executive order purports to fix shortcomings in these areas, it is highly likely to be legally invalid; and where the order is highly likely to be legally valid, it does nothing to fix the shortcomings,” he said in a March 30 statement. Bishop Aquila also refers readers of his statement to a legal analysis of the law and executive order by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Office of General Counsel.
Meanwhile, Bishop Leonard P. Blair of Toledo, Ohio, urged Catholics to look at the health reform debate from a religious/moral perspective rather than a political one. “Imagine if the political price for the passage of health care reform were the reintroduction of racial segregation in Southern schools,” he writes in the Catholic Chronicle, Toledo diocesan newspaper. “This would rightly lead to moral indignation and block passage of the bill. However, the murder of 50 million unborn children in our country is seen as a legitimate ‘choice’ and is tossed about like a football in the political field.” Read his full column here.