US Moves Closer to Prohibiting Tax-Funded Abortion

WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 17, 2011 ( A U.S. bishops’ aide welcomed today a committee approval of the Protect Life Act, which would apply federal policy on abortion funding and conscience rights to the health care reform law promoted last year by President Barack Obama.

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The committee approved the bill (H.R. 358) on Tuesday, also rejecting three amendments that would have weakened it.

“The committee’s action is an important step toward authentic health care reform that respects the dignity of all, from conception onward,” Deirdre McQuade, USCCB pro-life spokeswoman, said.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, had explained in a Jan. 20 letter to Congress that the Protect Life Act “will bring PPACA [Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act] into line with policies on abortion and conscience rights that have long prevailed in other federal health programs.”

The bill now awaits a vote in the House of Representatives.

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