Year brings health care reform law and a 'wound to church's unity'
Published: December 6, 2010
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- 2010 will be known in many circles as the year of health reform. Among Catholics, it might also be known as the year that caused, as Chicago Cardinal Francis E. George said in his final talk as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, a "wound to the church's unity." Leaders of the USCCB clashed with the head of the Catholic Health Association and the superiors of many U.S. orders of women religious over whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the executive order signed by President Barack Obama would permit the federal funding of abortion, force some people to pay for the abortions of others through their health insurance or violate the conscience rights of Catholic health providers and institutions. Proponents of both views remain convinced that their stand was the right one. In a Nov. 15 address to his fellow bishops, Cardinal George said "developments since the passage of the legislation" have confirmed that "our analysis of what the law itself says was correct and our moral judgments are secure." He did not specify what those developments were. In a Nov. 23 talk at the University of San Francisco, Sister Carol Keehan, a Daughter of Charity who is CHA president and CEO, said that although the health reform legislation was "not necessarily a perfect" law, she was convinced it would not fund abortion. "As far as I was concerned, if I knew in my heart that it did not fund abortion, I could not do anything but stand up for the passage of that bill for the 32 million" uninsured people expected to receive health insurance through the reforms, she said.
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