The debate continues on abortion and health care

Anyone who closely followed the debate in March over whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act did or did not leave open the possibility of federal funding of abortion will want to read this new analysis by Helen Alvare, a law professor at George Mason University who served in the 1990s as director of planning and information for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. Alvare addresses point by point the arguments raised by Timothy Jost of Washington and Lee University School of Law in his rebuttal of the USCCB legal analysis of the health reform plan and takes Commonweal magazine to task for relying too heavily on Jost.

This is a debate likely to continue for a while. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the USCCB pro-life committee, said recently that constant vigilance will be needed as the health reform law is implemented to be sure no federal funds go to pay for abortions.  We wrote about his comments here.

Alvare concludes that the USCCB’s stand that the health reform plan “fell morally short remains measurably more convincing than Commonweal’s and Jost’s conclusion that the bishops were too scrupulous and alarmist in their reading” of the bill. Read her full article here and see whether you agree.

Follow-up: Both Commonweal and Jost have issued lengthy responses to Alvare’s article. You can read them here and here.

2 Responses

  1. Seems the Wall Street Journal had a item on how the Mass. “Health Plan” is causing small businesses to opt out and let the state tax payers fund the health plan. That should be interesting when the tax bill comes due.

  2. What seems to be absent from this discussion are the pledges to advance abortion and to suppress conscience rights of health care workers made in Democratic Party platforms and by individual democratic politicians starting with President Obama. We have ignored the promises made to their constituencies but those constituencies certainly have not. What is also missing is the fact that some states including MN have declared abortion a fundamental right to be paid for by the taxpayer under state health care plans now subsidized by the new federal plan

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