On Friday, July 15, 2022, the House of Representatives passed a bill in response to the reversal of Roe v. Wade by the United States Supreme Court.
This project caused the American Episcopal Conference (USCCB) to react, who protested against and severely condemned the text which would widen access to abortion. The bishops condemned it as the “most unjust and radical” pro-abortion bill passed by the House of Representatives.
The Women's Health Protection Bill, passed Friday by a vote of 219 to 210, is “the most unfair and sweeping abortion-on-demand bill our nation has ever seen,” stated the episcopal declaration of July 18.
“Meeting the needs of women by promoting taxpayer-funded voluntary abortion, as this bill would do, is a grave wrong and a failure to love and serve women,” said Bishop Lori, President of the USCCB's pro-life activities committee, and Cardinal Dolan, chairman of the episcopal body's religious liberty committee.
“Providing free or low-cost abortions, rather than increasing the resources women need to care for themselves and their children, is not 'choice' but ruthless coercion and neglect,” they added.
It should be noted, however, that since Democrats do not have the votes to overcome the Republican filibuster, the bill is not expected to pass the Senate.
However, pro-abortion Democrats, including President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, have made passage of the Women's Health Protection Act a centerpiece of the plan to reverse the Supreme Court decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which struck down the nationwide “right” to abortion.
The Women's Health Protection Act would require Americans to fund abortion with taxpayer dollars and would require providers and medical professionals to perform or facilitate abortions, the USCCB statement warns.
The bishops noted that insurers and employers would also be required to help pay for abortions “contrary to their deep convictions.” It is not enough “to repeat the mantra that abortion is a health service does not make it so,” the bishops said. “Deliberately ending the lives of defenseless and voiceless human beings is the antithesis of health care.”
We implore those who see abortion as a “legitimate solution to the needs of women to abandon this path of death and despair,” Bishop Lori and Cardinal Dolan wrote again. They propose to develop a movement founded with the aim of supporting women in distress or in difficulty.
The initiative calls on dioceses, parishes and Catholic agencies to provide resources to women facing unexpected or difficult pregnancies.
The bishops conclude: “We urge our nation to prioritize the well-being of women, children, and families, both through material resources and personal accompaniment, so that no woman ever feels compelled to choose between her future and the life of her child.”