Health Care Reform: Catholics and Abortion Coverage

As the US Senate wrestles with health care reform legislation, coverage of abortion services remains a controversial issue. After strong pressure from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops and several groups of religious conservatives, the House of Representatives passed the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, which would bar a new government-run insurance plan from covering abortions. At this week’s annual fall meeting (November 16-18), Cardinal Francis George, president of the bishops’ conference, defended his church’s lobbying on the issue. Meanwhile, at a November 16 news conference, Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, criticized the bishops’ efforts and joined other faith leaders in launching a lobbying campaign in favor of abortion coverage. (Cardinal George footage provided by Telecare)