Back in September John Allen Jr. and America Magazine took aim at comments by Jack Smith of the Catholic Key blog and his comments on Sr. Keehan and the Catholic Health Association. John Allen Jr. wrote:
“Over the years she’s emerged as an important spokesperson for Catholic health care, including the church’s unambiguously pro-life position
There were also comments about Raymond Arroyo concerning Sr. Keehan on his show. A week later Sr. Keehan appeared on Raymond’s show and I can’t say I was impressed.
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Catholic Health Association is backing the phony compromise on abortion funding in the Senate health care bill released by Sen. Bob Casey and rejected by Sen. Ben Nelson and pro-life groups. The group released a statement yesterday that is sure to raise the eyebrows of pro-life Catholics.
The compromise from Casey is an attempt to get Nelson on board with the pro-abortion health care bill that contains massive abortion funding.
Sr. Carol Keehan, the president of the CHA said that, although she hasn’t seen the text of the Casey proposal, “we are encouraged by recent deliberations and the outline Senator Casey is developing.”
Keehan claimed that “now that a public health insurance option is no longer on the table, we are increasingly confident that Senator Casey’s language can achieve the objective of no federal funding for abortion.”
“It is our understanding that the language now being written would prohibit federal funding of abortion,” Keehan said.
But that’s not at all the case, according to those who have seen the language and provided their analysis.
Nelson himself said yesterday that the language “isn’t sufficient” and “the basic question on funding for abortion hasn’t been answered yet.”
Also, National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson said the language is “unacceptable” and called it a “far cry from the Stupak Amendment” because it “would break from the long-established principles of the Hyde Amendment by providing federal subsidies for health plans that cover abortion on demand.”
Other pro-life groups including the Family Research Council and Nebraska Right to Life confirmed the Casey language did not “prohibit federal funding of abortion,” as Keehan maintained.
Also, in an interview on Wednesday, Richard Doerflinger, a spokesman for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said that the bishops appreciated the goals of some of Casey’s proposal, but that they did not actually stop taxpayer funding of abortion. As a result, the USCCB could not sign off on it with their support.
Catholic writer Deal Hudon told LifeNews.com Friday afternoon that the Catholic Health Association is making a mistake.
“Although its endorsement has earned it the fawning praise of notorious critics of the Catholic Church such as Amy Sullivan of Time Magazine, the Catholic Health Association does not represent the teaching of the Catholic Church on the non- negotiable defense of innocent life,” he said.
“Moreover, it does not represent the position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has clearly stated that the only acceptable language concerning abortion in the federal health care bill is the language of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment,” he added.
Hudonson continued: “It is utterly offensive to think that any Catholic organization would actively support the Casey Amendment – or any amendment – whose language makes abortion the default position of the federal government.”
Meanwhile, in her statement, Keehan says, “As we understand it, the Senate intends to keep the President’s commitment that no federal funds will pay for abortions and in addition, provide significant new support for pregnant women.”
The statement is curious because the Senate has actually rejected the Nelson amendment to ensure no federal funds pay for abortions.
And President Barack Obama has already repeatedly violated his supposed “commitment” to not fund abortions — by endorsing the bill with abortion funding and signing a bill yesterday that overturns the ban on federal funding of abortions in the District of Columbia.
Keehan said the group “urge[s] Congress to continue its work toward the goal of health reform that protects life at all stages,” but her endorsement of the Casey language would undermine that principle.
This isn’t the first time Keehan has raised eyebrows.
She caused controversy last December when she defended President Barack Obama against criticism from pro-lifers and praised his choices of pro-abortion Health and Human Services secretary Tom Daschle and deputy health care director Jeanne Lambrew.
Sr. Keehan seems to be extremely naive when it comes to the Democrats all pursuing goal of abortion, abortion, and abortion.
What changed in the bill to make it so that pro-lifers could support it? Well nothing. Sen. Nelson just got full federal funding of Medicare in his state. A sweetheart deal for Nebraska and his reported pro-life convictions can be bought.
I am not disappointed in Sen. Nelson. I figured he would cave from the start. He talked a good game, but when it came down to it power over protecting the unborn was more important. I had no hope for Sen. Casey another faux pro-lifers who has shown his stripes before. As for the 15 Catholic Senators who voted for this bill at one in the morning they are not exactly quacking in their boots worrying about what their bishops will do about their support of federal funding of abortion.
If Abraham had lived in Washington D.C. he would have despaired at finding just one righteous person.
American Papist has a good post on this and that the USCCB did not support this bill.
Fr. Mallow also thinks Jack Smith is owed an apology.
Sr. Keehan is naive? That’s very generous of you.
As a Nebraskan, I am very disappointed and surprised by Senator Nelson. He had more than one of us fooled. He has been STAUNCHLY pro-life until now. I can assure you, his political carrer is done here.
This is not a funny issue, but it does my heart good to laugh at the image/sound of “quacking in their boots”… 🙂
I want to point out that the Catholic Health Association is NOT the Catholic Medical Association which is firmly against this horrible bill.