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Catholics for Choice Statement on Healthcare Reform Package

December 19, 2009

Washington, DC —Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice had the following reaction to the deal that the Democratic Party made in order to get Senator Ben Nelson’s support for the healthcare reform package.

“The latest language on abortion makes a mockery of the entire healthcare reform package. The idea that women would have to write two checks a month for their healthcare coverage if they want to include payments for abortion is idiotic. Sadly, it may be a sign of things to come as some states and conservative antichoice organizations seek to make it more and more difficult for women to exercise their reproductive rights.

“The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops played a vital role in forcing antichoice language into the healthcare reform bill. Previously, both sides had a tacit agreement that the battle over healthcare reform would not become a battle over abortion. American women will now suffer as a result of this so-called compromise. And, having given the US bishops this level of influence, the Democratic Party will find it difficult when the US bishops seek to impose their will over IVF treatments, family planning and research involving embryonic stem cells. Families may be writing several checks every month in order to pay their healthcare insurance premiums, if these services are not banned outright. We all suffer when religious ideology is allowed to direct public policy in this way.”