The Kansas City Star’s editorial board is absolutely right to call out the Kansas Catholic Conference’s hypocrisy in blocking low-income Kansans’ access to affordable health care in the name of their anti-abortion obsession. (Nov. 22, “There is nothing pro-life about withholding health care coverage for poor Kansans”)
The conference, speaking on behalf of the state’s eight bishops, demanded that Medicaid expansion be held hostage until passage of anti-abortion legislation and a constitutional amendment. Yet, neither Chuck Weber nor the conference speaks for the majority of the nearly 400,000 Kansas Catholics, including Gov. Laura Kelly, whose beliefs differ from our church’s hierarchy on abortion.
We are taken aback by the bishops’ blatant disregard for the welfare of 150,000 residents of the Sunflower State seeking access to the affordable health care enjoyed by 36 other states. Our question for the Kansas Catholic Conference: Where is the social justice in that?
By insisting on passing an amendment to the state constitution — a long and arduous process — the bishops clearly care little about leaving the most marginalized Kansans indefinitely without access to critical health care. It is long past time that the church hierarchy return its focus to caring for people rather than political posturing.
– Sara Hutchinson Ratcliffe, Acting President
This letter was originally published at the Kansas City Star.