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Arlington Bishop Michael BurbidgeYouTube screenshot

WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — Catholic bishops in the U.S. issued a letter to members of the House and Senate advocating a bill that would prohibit the federal government from using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.

Bishop Michael Burbidge, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, sent a letter Friday to Republican U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi and Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, sponsors of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” (H.R.7 and S.62), supporting the pro-life legislation.

“Protecting taxpayers from being forced to pay for abortion in violation of their conscience is a principle that has enjoyed historically broad support among Americans, regardless of their otherwise passionately divided views on the topic,” Burbidge, the bishop of Arlington, Virginia, wrote. “It has also been lifesaving: some analyses have found that limitations on federal funding of elective abortion, such as the Hyde Amendment, have saved well over two million lives.”

Defending the move to enshrine such things as the Hyde Amendment into federal law, the bishop argued, “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which has also been supported by the USCCB in previous sessions of Congress, would make long-standing prohibitions on federal funding of elective abortion permanent and government-wide, rather than having to depend on various appropriations, which can put these funding protections or other programs for those in need at risk.”

Condemning the destruction of innocent life through abortion and pointing to the need to support families in a comprehensive way, Burbidge declared, “The government should never fund the destruction of innocent preborn children. Rather, Congress can better serve the common good by prioritizing policies that comprehensively assist women, children, and families in need in ways that will not only encourage childbirth but make it easier to welcome and raise a new child.”

President Joe Biden was confronted Monday by journalists about the bishops’ letter. “Catholic bishops are demanding that federal tax dollars not fund abortions,” EWTN’s Washington correspondent challenged Biden.

As LifeSiteNews reported today, Biden, who flaunts his Catholicism and yet is staunchly pro-abortion, simply retorted, dismissing the issue, “No, they are not all doing that. Nor is the Pope doing that.”

READ: Biden outrageously claims Pope doesn’t support US bishops’ call to halt taxpayer-funded abortions

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas immediately denounced Biden referring to Pope Francis in defense of government funding of abortion. “Mr Biden can’t be allowed to twist the words of Pope Francis in this way. I implore the Vatican press office to emphatically clarify that Pope Francis rightly calls abortion murder. It is time to denounce Biden’s fake Catholicism.”

The U.S. bishops have launched an online petition urging senators and congressmen to vote for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act. The petition can be found on the website, run by the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities.

The petition states:

Taxpayer dollars should NOT pay for abortion.

The majority of Americans agree with this – both Democrats and Republicans. For over 45 years, the Hyde amendment and similar laws have protected taxpayers from being forced to pay for elective abortion. The Hyde amendment has been signed into law every year since 1976, whether the Congress and the White House were led by Republicans or Democrats.

The Hyde Amendment has saved nearly 2.5 million babies and mothers in difficult circumstances from the tragedy of abortion. ​An overwhelming majority of Americans, including low-income women and women of color who are most impacted by it, support the Hyde Amendment and laws that prevent government-funded abortion.

We urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to ensure that the Hyde Amendment and all similar life-saving appropriations riders remain in place.  Do not force Americans to subsidize the taking of innocent life. Oppose any bill, including any appropriations bill, that expands taxpayer funding of abortion.

The bishops’ petition to Congress can be signed here.