Abortion and health care debate

Are opponents of health care reform trying to help scuttle the Obama plan by steering it into the rocky shoals of the abortion debate? Catholic Charities USA, outspoken in calling for Congress to enact health care reform, seemed to say as much in a statement it issued in response to "inaccurate online media reports."Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA, denied claims that he supported health care reform without regard for whether it would lead to more abortions. These attacks appear to be politically motivated by opponents of health care reform," he said. "They are distortions of the truth and disingenuous. Catholic Charities USA will continue to work to reform health care in a way that is consistent with the teachings of our faith. He appeared to be responding to stories carried on pro-life Web sites.Catholic Charities said its position on health care reform legislation and abortion is consistent with statements from the U.S. bishops.

Paul Moses, a contributing writer at Commonweal, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @PaulBMoses. 

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