LANSING - Earlier today, The Detroit News Washington bureau reported that a group calling itself "Catholics United" has undertaken a television advertising campaign against Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) for his strong stance against abortion funding in the U.S. Senate version of health care reform.
The statement below was released in response to a separate media inquiry if "Catholics United" was affiliated with the Michigan Catholic Conference. The statement may be attributed to Paul Long, Michigan Catholic Conference Vice-President for Public Policy.
"The Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) and United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) are the official voices of the Catholic Church, in this state and across the country, respectively, on matters pertaining to public policy. No group has done more to promote the need for universal health care coverage than the Catholic Church. Both the MCC and the USCCB have stated as clear as day, however, that the Senate-passed version of health care reform is unacceptable in its current form as it fails to uphold the Hyde Amendment, which ensures no federal taxpayer dollars are used to pay for abortions or health plans that cover abortions, and also fails to protect individual conscience rights.
"The aforementioned television advertising campaign is misleading the public and distorting the official policy positions of the Catholic Church in Michigan and throughout the country. In no way does Catholics United represent the public policy positions of the Catholic Church. In fact, the ad campaign and its accompanying news release grossly misrepresents the official position of the Catholic Church on health care reform, and unfairly and erroneously attacks Congressman Bart Stupak for his efforts to prohibit tax-payer funded abortions."
Link to USCCB description of current Senate health care reform bill, and how it allows for taxpayer funded abortion.