William Donohue

Federal funding for abortion is shaping up to be a major stumbling block on the road the Obama administration has chosen to pass a health-care reform plan.

On the day President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, criticized the administration’s support of abortion by referring to another Nobel Prize winner, Mother Teresa.

“Unlike Mother Teresa, who said abortion was the ‘greatest destroyer of peace,’ President Obama has never indicated that abortion undermines the cause of peace,” Donohue said in a statement. “Indeed he champions abortion as if it were a sacred right.”

On Sept. 30, three Catholic Bishops representing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent a letter to the U.S. Senate stressing, “Health care reform especially needs to protect those at the beginning of life and at its end, the most vulnerable and the voiceless.”

On Thursday, Bishop William Murphy, Cardinal Justin Rigali and Bishop John Webster, representing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, sent another letter to Congress objecting to using public funds to pay for abortions in the health care legislation moving through Congress in various forms.

“We remain apprehensive when amendments protecting freedom of conscience and ensuring no taxpayer money for abortion are defeated in committee votes,” the Catholic clerics wrote, referencing various Republican-submitted amendments the Democratic majority on the Senate Finance Committee chaired by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., have rejected.

“After listening to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs two days ago, it is a fair bet that Catholic skepticism has turned to cynicism,” Donohue said.

Donohue noted Gibbs referenced then-candidate Obama’s December 2007 statement that he did not support the Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976 as a limitation on paying for abortions with federal funds allocated by Department of Health and Human Services appropriations.

Calling for Obama to clearly reject any effort to include funding for abortions in his health-care plan, Donohue said the president “cannot have it both ways.” Obama cannot say he supports the Hyde Amendment yet refuse to instruct congressional Democrats to stop blocking Republican efforts to exclude public funding for abortion, he said.

In his address to a joint session of Congress Sept. 9, Obama vowed “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.”

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., a Catholic, has led the charge in the House to oppose abortion funding in the administration’s plan.

In a recent interview, Stupak noted statements made by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops have been “very effective” on the abortion effort.

Commenting on Obama’s promise to the nation that his health care legislation would not support abortion, Stupak commented, “The problem is the president hasn’t submitted a plan.”

The Detroit Free Press has reported Stupak is one of approximately 40 House Democrats that have told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he is ready to block the Obama administration’s health care reform legislation if there is no opportunity to debate and vote on an amendment that would clearly outlaw the use of federal funds to pay for abortions.

WND has reported extensively that White House science czar has a history of writings dating back to the 1970s in which he advocated abortion as a means of population control.

In particular, Holdren argued government-mandated measures to control population, including the possibility of involuntary birth control measures such as forced sterilization might be needed to prevent 1 billion people from dying in a man-made carbon-dioxide-induced ice age.


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