As two key bills regarding the United States' finances are prepared to be submitted, a pair of Catholic Bishops have expressed concerns about their impact on abortion law.
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York and Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City issued a co-written statement on Wednesday, expressing concerns about how an upcoming appropriations bill could be the "the most extreme pro-abortion appropriations bill we have seen."
In their reading of the legislation, the two Catholic leaders noticed that the lawmakers had not included the Hyde Amendment in upcoming legislation. According to Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Naumann, this bill would be "effectively mandate health care professionals to participate in abortion, and forcing American citizens to pay for abortion with their tax dollars.
"Abortion is not health care nor a 'human service' to anyone. Rather, abortion is inhumane. It is a painful death to an innocent baby and often leaves women physically harmed and emotionally devastated."
The Hyde Amendment is a rule established in 1976 that bars federal funds to pay for abortion, except in exceptional cases where the mother's life is at risk or if incest or rape caused the pregnancy. This law has been a critical tool used by pro-life advocates to ensure that federal funding was never used for abortions. The Amendment has been reenacted in spending bills since Congress first passed it.
Cardinal Dolan and Archbishop Naumann have been consistently vocal on this issue in the past, often speaking out when the Hyde Amendment is left out of crucial spending bills. They made similar comments in June after the House rejected the Hyde Amendment out of other bills related to other federal agency funding.
They're not the only ones speaking out on these issues. Several Catholic leaders have expressed their concern about spending bills not including the Hyde Amendment, including Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Archbishop William E. Lori, and the New York State Catholic Conference.
The pair of Catholic church leaders encourage US Catholics and "all people of goodwill to contact their legislators and make their voices heard" to contact their local congressman and implore them to restore the Hyde Amendment to the upcoming bill."