Why is Senate hiding from Hyde?

By Sister Mary Ann WalshDirector of Media Relations, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops The thousands of pages in the health … Continued

By Sister Mary Ann Walsh
Director of Media Relations, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

The thousands of pages in the health care reform legislation contain much to ponder, but what’s most puzzling is the shying away from the Hyde Amendment in the Senate bill.

The Hyde Amendment was first passed in 1976 and prevents use of federal money to pay for elective abortions and health plans that include them. It has saved U.S. taxpayers from having to pay for others’ elective abortions. The Hyde Amendment has been satisfactory for America for almost 35 years. Why not incorporate it into health care reform legislation now?

The House version of the health care reform legislation incorporated Hyde language and the Capitol Dome did not fall – in fact, inclusion of the language helped ensure House approval of the bill. For whatever reason, the Senate rejected that approach.

Why would any member of Congress want to use health care reform to promote elective abortion? And why has the Senate designed a system that lets insurance companies force people to pay for abortion services they do not want and find morally repulsive – and gives federal subsidies to those companies to help them do it?

That could happen under the Senate bill, if your child has asthma and the best specialist is not in the one health plan in your state that excludes abortion services. To get your child to that specialist, you’d have to ante up for the abortion fund in the plan.

Those who insist on expanding abortion rights through health care legislation are willing to sink health care reform and with it the hopes of desperate people. Among them are people with pre-existing conditions whom insurance executives ban to cut risk in their insurance pools. They include people without the wherewithal to pay insurance premiums equal to mortgage payments. The abortion proponents have one goal – to expand abortion as far as possible regardless of consequences.

Who would promote such policies? Planned Parenthood, the well-financed, government-subsidized organization that is the major promoter of abortion in the world? And NOW, which recently was termed the “National Organization for Women Who Only Think Like Us” by Washington Post sports writer Sally Jenkins, a self-described pro-choicer?

NOW president Terry O’Neill, opposing efforts to keep the status quo on abortion in health care reform legislation, stated directly: “We will never stop fighting for the right of every woman to have equal access to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion.” (This does not benefit women at their earliest stage of life, those still in utero.)

The grandest irony of all is the effort to blame the church for the current health care reform impasse. The church, which has pleaded for decades for such reform, today gets blamed for hurting this cause by holding that the legislation must uphold current law and not expand violence against voiceless children in the womb. And following the principle that the first casualty of war is truth, Planned Parenthood states falsely on its Website that the US bishops threaten to bring down the health care bill unless it eliminates private health care coverage for abortion. What the bishops have said is that for health care reform they would live with the status quo, where the government does not pay for abortions or abortion-containing health plans, but people who want abortion coverage can purchase it with other funds.

Why anyone in Congress would want to hide from Hyde is astounding. This is legislation that has had bipartisan support since it was first passed more than three decades ago. It has been proven to work. This amendment’s policy governs the health insurance program for federal workers that is envied by everyone not on the federal payroll. The Hyde Amendment saves taxpayers from the ignominy of seeing their tax money used to end innocent lives. A wise leadership would adopt Hyde in a minute, and move on to creating a reformed health care plan with an abortion position people already have shown they can live with.

Sister Mary Ann Walsh is Director of Media Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

  • PSolus

    Mary,The Hyde Amendment is based on ignorant, superstitious beliefs that have no place in the modern world.If you think that abortion is “evil” or “wicked”, you are free to never have an abortion, but you do not have a right to attempt to force your ignorant, superstitious beliefs on other women.

  • FarnazMansouri

    Walsh,Again, your arrogance and that of Vatican Nation astonishes me. It shouldn’t, I allow, since America allows you to govern not only Catholic clergy but the United States.Had I but world enough and time to reply to your grandiose blather! But tomorrow is another day, praise clocks and globes.

  • YEAL9

    Reflections on abortion as noted many times by many bloggers:Abortion boils down to one simple question, when does human life begin? It is obvious that intercourse and other sexual activities are out of control with over one million abortions and 19 million cases of STDs per year in the USA alone.”Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain STDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psychological consequences of STDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs associated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars.”How in the world do we get this situation under control? A pill to temporarily eliminate the sex drive would be a good start. And teenagers and young adults must be constantly reminded of the dangers of sexual activity and that oral sex, birth control pills, condoms and chastity belts are no protection against STDs. Might a list of those having an STD posted on the Internet help? Sounds good to me!!!! Said names would remain until the STD has been eliminated with verification by a doctor. Lists of sexual predators are on-line. Is there a difference between these individuals and those having a STD having sexual relations while infected???And a growing baby is considered by some to be nothing more than an infection? Talk about having no respect for life!!!!! And Nature or Nature’s God is the #1 taker of everyone’s life. That gives some rational for killing the unborn or those suffering from dementia, mental disease or Alzheimer’s or anyone who might inconvenience your life??? We constantly battle the forces of nature. We do not succumb to these forces by eliminating defenseless children!!!!!

  • PSolus

    “Abortion boils down to one simple question, when does human life begin?”This is true only for ignorant, superstitious people.In reality, “abortion boils down to” a woman’s choice whether to bring a pregnancy to term, or to terminate the pregnancy.It is a choice that only she can make; it cannot be made by people who hold ignorant, superstitious beliefs about magical entities and supernatural phenomena.BTW, the rest of your comment is quite disturbing; if you really believe what you write, you need to seek psychological help as soon as possible.

  • BeatusEst

    What is so superstitious about the fact of a baby’s separate and unique DNA? What is so superstitious about the fact of a true human life growing in the womb? What is superstitious about these scientifically known facts? No nothing of what medical science says about the growth, development and truth of life in the womb is superstitious. What is superstitious is declaring the true life growing is not person, simply because the mother and a doctor say it’s not. This is ignorance of the facts. This is why the abortion advocates are so vehemently against mothers getting ultrasounds when they are considering abortion, because to see that there is a real child there, not a blob of cells, is to know the truth. The abortion movement thrives on ignorance, the pro-life movement thrives on the truth. Not from any religion or faith, but from science, from truth.

  • PSolus

    “What is so superstitious about the fact of a baby’s separate and unique DNA? What is so superstitious about the fact of a true human life growing in the womb? What is superstitious about these scientifically known facts?”What is superstitious is the belief that pregnancy is a magical, supernatural phenomenon that is bestowed upon a woman as a gift by a supernatural being, and that the instant that a woman becomes pregnant, she loses control of what happens to her and to her body, and that all decisions regarding her pregnancy are to be made by other people, in accordance with their particular brand of ignorant and superstitious beliefs.Pregnancy is a natural biological process that occurs within a woman’s body, and as long as it progresses inside her body, she is the only person who can make any decisions regarding how that biological process progresses.

  • usapdx

    Sister, if you where the mother of the little 80 pound 9 year old girl of Brazil of March,2009 that was raped by her stepfather , four months pregnant with twins, WHAT WHOULD YOU HAVE DONE? Please note that Canon 1323 has no age limit. You should know this case very well account of all the media it was in. As a parent, I know what I do no matter what the RCC said.

  • YEAL9

    “Pregnancy is a natural biological process that occurs within a woman’s body, and as long as it progresses inside her body, she is the only person who can make any decisions regarding how that biological process progresses.”And when are these decisions made? Last time I checked those same biological processes continue outside the womb. Is the mother then responsible for all this child’s care? (Many fathers paying child support will glad to hear about that!) Do mothers then have the right to terminate the life of this child outside the womb? Thou Shalt Not Kill/Murder holds inside and outside the womb!!!

  • Athena4

    “This is why the abortion advocates are so vehemently against mothers getting ultrasounds when they are considering abortion, because to see that there is a real child there, not a blob of cells, is to know the truth. “No, pro-choice people are NOT against ultrasounds. We are against forcing the woman to pay for them. If the State is going to mandate ultrasounds for all women considering abortion, then they can pay for them. It is an unnecessary financial burden on a woman who is most likely to be poor and/or uninsured.

  • PSolus

    “And when are these decisions made?”When they need to be made.”Last time I checked those same biological processes continue outside the womb.”You need to check again; pregnancy does not continue outside the womb.”Is the mother then responsible for all this child’s care?”Yes, along with others.”(Many fathers paying child support will glad to hear about that!)”This is a stupid statement.”Do mothers then have the right to terminate the life of this child outside the womb?”No one has the legal right to kill any child.”Thou Shalt Not Kill/Murder holds inside and outside the womb!!!”That is just your oversimplified superstitious belief.

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