About 3 weeks ago, we wrote criticizing how Fr. Bryan Hehir helped reinforce a “wound to Catholic unity” by praising the Catholic Health Association’s leadership as they celebrated the passage of CHA-backed “Obamacare.” Now we see the first federal funding of abortion, and the concerns of the Catholic bishops and millions of other Catholics and pro-lifers alike have proven true. We hope Fr. Hehir and his supporters in the Archdiocese like Vicar General Erikson and Cardinal O’Malley are pleased with the result.
As you will recall, the CHA backed Obamacare in direct opposition to the Catholic bishops, and Bryan Hehir later commended the head of the CHA, Sr. Carol Keehan for her “intelligent and courageous leadership of this organization. Hehir also said there “multiple voices” in the debate (the CHA, the U.S. bishops, and others) as though all of the voices had equal merit and the teaching authority of the Church had no more weight than any other voice. And amidst those multiple voices, “there was foundation for the different judgments made on the bill in the Catholic moral tradition.” Multiple readers excoriated Hehir for his statements, and our post prompted a response from the Vicar General, who said our blog posts were disrepectful, inappropriate, and inaccurate in criticizing Fr. Hehir.
Now we hear that the first $160 million in taxpayer money is going to support insurance plans that cover abortions. That would further validate that our posts were respectful of life, appropriate in reinforcing Church teachings and need for unity with the bishops, and accurate in the criticism of Fr. Hehir for backing the CHA. Here are exceprts from the Lifenews report in “Obama Administration OKs First Tax-Funded Abortions Under Health Care Law”
The Obama administration has officially approved the first instance of taxpayer funded abortions under the new national government-run health care program. This is the kind of abortion funding the pro-life movement warned about when Congress considered the bill. The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new “high-risk” insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March. It has quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of pro-abortion Governor Edward Rendell under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.
The law authorizes $5 billion in federal funds for the program, which will cover as many as 400,000 people when it is implemented nationwide.
The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we’ve discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee. Johnson told LifeNews.com: “This is just the first proof of the phoniness of President Obama’s assurances that federal funds would not subsidize abortion — but it will not be the last.
President Obama successfully opposed including language in the bill to prevent federal subsidies for abortions, and now the Administration is quietly advancing its abortion-expanding agenda through administrative decisions such as this, which they hope will escape broad public attention,” Johnson said.
The abortion funding comes despite language in the bill that some pro-abortion Democrats and Obama himself claimed would prevent abortion funding and despite a controversial executive order Obama signed supposedly stopping abortion funding.
The pro-life community strongly opposed the executive order and said Rep. Bart Stupak and other House Democrats who voted for the pro-abortion health care bill in exchange for it were selling out their pro-life principles. This first case of forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions under the new law appears to prove them right that the bill language and executive order were ineffective.
Proving the point further that the abortion funding comes from federal taxpayer dollars, Johnson explained that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has emphasized that the high-risk pool program is a federal program and that the states will not incur any cost.”On May 11, 2010, in a letter to Democratic and Republican congressional leaders on implementation of the new law, DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote that “states may choose whether and how they participate in the program, which is funded entirely by the federal government.”
Under the Rendell-Sebelius plan, federal funds will subsidize coverage of abortion performed for any reason, except sex selection,” said NRLC’s Johnson. “The Pennsylvania proposal conspicuously lacks language that would prevent funding of abortions performed as a method of birth control or for any other reason, except sex selection — and the Obama Administration has now approved this.”
There you have it folks. Fr. Hehir, the trusted “strategic advisor” to Cardinal O’Malley who brings “fidelity to the work of the Church” and ”clarity to our message and mission” backed the organization that was critical to passing this abortion-funding healthcare overhaul legislation, and the bloggers who expose and complain about this and are the ones who are criticized by the Archdiocese. Go figure.