Abortion in Health Care “Way Beyond my Field”: Cardinal Mahoney
By John Jalsevac
September 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In a recent interview with CNSNews.com, Cardinal Roger Mahoney declined to answer a question about whether or not he agreed with Cardinal Justin Rigali that the Obama health care bill should include language explicitly excluding any public funding of abortion. "This is way beyond my field," the cardinal responded.
"My field is immigration," said Mahoney, who is the archbishop of Los Angeles. "I really haven't kept up on that, and I spend all my time on this other. You have to get somebody who spends time on that."
When asked whether he believed abortion should be funded under the health care bill, Cardinal Mahony said: "No, but that's what the president said, too, so."
Cardinal Rigali, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' pro-life committee, has spoken out against Obama's healthcare plan as currently formulated, due to the fact that it would use taxpayer money to pay for abortions.
In a letter to legislators on behalf of the U.S. Catholic bishops, Rigali wrote that, under the plan, "federal taxpayer funds will subsidize the operating budget and provider networks that expand access to abortions. Furthermore, those constrained by economic necessity or other factors to purchase the 'public plan' will be forced by the federal government to pay directly and specifically for abortion coverage."
The President and the White House have consistently denied that the health care reform would include funding for abortion. In a recent address to a joint session of Congress, President Obama said: "One more misunderstanding I want to clear up - under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place."
However, this claim has been dismissed by pro-life leaders and legal analysts as little less than a fabrication. The Associated Press, as well as the non-partisan FactCheck.org have both confirmed that the healthcare plan would indeed funnel public money to abortion.
In response to concerns about the Obama healthcare bill and its effects on the right to life, the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) on Monday issued a letter expressing its formal opposition to the legislation. "We must ensure that well-intentioned efforts to bring about 'change' are not exploited to create a federally controlled system that promises health care for all, but creates an oppressive bureaucracy hostile to human life and to the integrity of the patient physician relationship," wrote the Catholic organization.
According to a list compiled by Catholic blogger Thomas Peters of AmericanPapist.com, so far over 40 U.S. Catholic bishops have explicitly spoken out against Obama's healthcare reform for a number of reasons, the most prominent of which is the funding of the killing of unborn children with public money.