March 5, 2021
WASHINGTON—Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued a statement on abortion funding in the American Rescue Plan.
Archbishop Gomez’s full statement follows:
“Our nation needs to heal, come together, and help one another. The American Rescue Plan is an important step in the right direction. It should provide much needed assistance for American families and businesses hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“However, we are deeply concerned that this important legislation, as written, risks creating new divisions by abandoning a longstanding bipartisan compromise that respects the consciences of millions of Americans.
“For 45 years, the United States Congress – whether controlled by Democrats or Republicans – has maintained that taxpayers should not be forced against their conscience to pay for abortions. Abandoning this compromise in a time of national emergency only serves to divide people in the very moment we should be united. Please, let us instead focus on delivering the COVID relief so desperately needed.
“We urge President Biden and the leadership on Capitol Hill not to force upon Americans the wrenching moral decision whether to preserve the lives and health of the born or unborn, all of whom are our vulnerable neighbors in need. We ask that our leaders please not pit people against one another in such a way. We ask all Members of Congress to include the same protections against abortion funding that have been present in every COVID relief bill to date, and every annual spending bill for almost half a century.”