Saturday, December 5, 2009

USCCB Action Alert on Hatch-Nelson.

The press release from yesterday:

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

3211 FOURTH STREET NE • WASHINGTON DC 20017-1194 • 202-541-3160
WEBSITE: WWW.USCCB.ORG/healthcare • FAX 202-541-3339

December 4, 2009

Support the Hatch-Nelson Amendment to Stop Abortion Funding in Health Care Reform!

The full Senate is considering their health care reform bill. The bishops are strongly urging the Senate to
incorporate essential changes to the Senate’s health care reform bill to ensure that needed health care
reform legislation truly protects the life, dignity, consciences and health of all. The amendment to
maintain the prohibition on federal funding of abortion could be voted on as early as Monday,
December 7. Please contact your Senators today!

Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) have submitted an amendment that like the
Stupak amendment that was included in the final House bill, prevents this legislation from mandating
abortion coverage or providing federal funds for coverage that includes elective abortions. Those
wishing to purchase abortion coverage may continue to do so with their own private funds, but not in the
government-run health care plan (“community health insurance option”) or with the help of federal

Senate: On November 18, Senate leadership unveiled its health care reform bill, The Patient Protection
and Affordable Care Act. This bill has been brought to the floor by inserting its text into H.R. 3590, an
unrelated House-passed tax measure. Debate and votes have begun and may continue until the
Christmas recess.

In a November 20 letter to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. bishops urged essential changes in the Senate bill:
to retain federal policy on abortion funding and conscience protection; to protect access to health care
for immigrants; and to provide for adequate affordability and coverage standards. The bishops said:
“Sadly, the legislative proposal recently unveiled in the Senate does not meet these moral criteria.” The
bishops specifically said that if the bill’s serious defects on abortion are not corrected, “the current
legislation should be opposed.”

ACTION: Contact Members now through e-mail, phone calls or FAX letters. 1) Send an e-mail at 2) Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’
local offices. Full contact info can be found on Members’ Web sites at and

MESSAGE—SENATE: “Please support the Hatch-Nelson Amendment to uphold longstanding
policies against abortion funding, and please protect conscience rights in health care reform.
WHEN: Senate floor debate on the amendment may begin the week of December 7.

WATCH FOR ADDITIONAL ACTION ALERTS! As the Senate continues to consider amendments
to the health care bill on abortion funding, conscience protections, improving affordability and coverage
and protecting immigrants’ health care, the USCCB will send Action Alerts to update you on advocacy
needed to support health care legislation that protects the life and dignity of all people from conception
until natural death.

For more information, please visit Thank you for your advocacy!
emails may be sent by going

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