We already know that at least some of the Catholic nuns in the United States lean left (some would even argue far left) when it comes to issues pertaining to the economy and health care. The battle between U.S. Bishops and the nuns is well-documented as is outspoken support for the religious women from progressive faith leaders like Jim Wallis.
On Thursday, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to validate President Barack Obama’s health care law, Sister Simone Campbell, who is the executive director of NETWORK (“a progressive voice” for Catholics), penned a Washington Post op-ed in which she said she’s “thrilled” that the bill remains on the books.
She also explained that her organization, which was founded 40 years ago by Catholic nuns, has lobbied for more affordable health care for years (she is an organizer of the “Nuns on the Bus” tour). Campbell also took a moment to claim that the law is in line with Biblical teaching.
“Catholic teachings about the common good and dignity of each person instruct us that this is a basic human right,” she wrote.
Campbell went on to share her experiences meeting with people on the road who do not have adequate health care. Some Americans, she claims, have died as a result of not being able to receive care in a timely fashion. These stories corroborate her penchant for the current regulatory changes as well as the Supreme Court’s decision upholding them:
Sunday night, I met a grieving family in Cincinnati who had just come from a memorial service for Margaret, their mother, sister and aunt. Margaret, who was 56 when she died, lacked health-care insurance through her work, and this prevented her from getting medical attention. When she finally saw a doctor, it was too late to save her life.
During our travels, a woman in a wheelchair also showed us the letter she had received saying she would lose dental coverage provided by Medicaid as of July 1.
The stories of the people we have met are real, and they touched our hearts.
When I first learned what the Supreme Court had decided I immediately thought about these wonderful people. And my friends. And my own family. So many people all around me and across the country who had been helped today.
The sister went on to say that she never questioned the legality of the health care law and that “the Supreme Court proved us right.” Campbell pledges to work through NETWORK to battle Republicans’ plans to not allow the health care law to “reach the people.” But it is her insinuation that the law is “pro-life” that will likely cause the most angst among conservatives.
“Our faith tells us that access to health-care safeguards human life,” she continues. “This law is pro-life and we must do everything possible to preserve and expand its reach.”
Considering expansions in various women’s health care provisions, some would question the “pro-life” sentiment present within the bill. Of course, she’s speaking here more generally about a respect for human life, which she believes ObamaCare will sustain and expound upon.
Read Campbell’s complete commentary, here.