Nancy Pelosi’s recent comments about the Catholic Church and its stance on contraceptives and abortion are creating quite a stir.
It’s no secret that the relationship between the Obama administration and the Catholic Church is frosty at best. Among those issues creating angst between the two parties is the notion that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known in conservative circles as “Obamacare”) would require health care plans to provide coverage for controversial contraceptives or provide taxpayer-funded abortions.
The Catholic Church, among other faith groups, would like to see the “conscience rights” of health care providers protected, should they decline to refer, provide or pay for abortions or contraceptives that could cause abortions.
This morning, Bishop William Lori, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, appeared on Fox and Friends to discuss his belief that religious freedom is under attack. “We certainly are experiencing right now some immediate and palpable threats to religious freedom,” he explained.
“Catholic hospitals, catholic charities, our schools, provide first-rate services, and I believe it’s the duty of government to accommodate our religious beliefs and convictions and allow us to perform those services according to our own light, even when we are engaged in a government contract,” he continued. Watch his comments, below:
Pelosi’s comments on the matter — which continue to paint the Church in a negative light — are not likely to improve the administration’s standing among faith leaders.
As the Blaze reported back in October, her statements took particular aim at a bill that passed in the House last month that would amend conscience exemptions in the health care reform law to be more favorable to those who oppose abortion. The congresswoman called the bill “savage.” Additionally, she continued:
“When the Republicans vote for this bill today, they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor and health-care providers do not have to intervene, if this bill is passed. It’s just appalling.”
LifeNews.com, though, puts the bill’s proposals into perspective, making Pelosi’s comments seem somewhat inflammatory:
The Protect Life Act makes it clear that no funds authorized or appropriated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), including tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, may be used to pay for abortion or abortion coverage. It specifies that individual people or state or local governments must purchase a separate elective abortion rider or insurance coverage that includes elective abortion but only as long as that is done with private funds and not monies authorized by Obamacare.
The bill also specifies that insurance issuers may offer health plans that include elective abortion and may offer separate elective abortion riders, so long as they ensure PPACA funds are not used for premiums or administrative costs. The bill also clarifies that issuers who offer elective abortion coverage must also offer a qualified health benefits plan that is identical except that it does not cover elective abortion.
Watch Pelosi’s initial comments, below:
Recently, when asked in an interview with the Washington Post if her comments on the matter went too far, Pelosi stood by them. “They would” let women die on the floor, she reiterated. “Whatever their intention is, this is the effect.” Interestingly, Pelosi, a Catholic, addressed her faith and tried to reconcile it with her contradictory views on abortion.
“…But the truth is what I said. I’m a devout Catholic and I honor my faith and love it…but they have this conscience thing,” she said. It is this “conscience thing” that puts people at risk, she apparently believes.
On HotAir.com, Tina Korpe writes the following about Pelosi’s religious views:
It means more to be Catholic than to just attend a Catholic Church. The authority of the magisterium is arguably the linchpin on which all other Catholic apologetics hang — and Pelosi’s repeated disregard for it makes me cringe when I read a quote from her to the effect that she loves and honors her faith. I’m not saying she has to be Catholic — just saying she should be honest with herself (and us!) about whether she is.
Back in 2008, Pelosi appeared on an episode of “Meet the Press,” where she described herself as an “ardent, practicing Catholic,” but claimed that “we don’t know” when life begins.
Watch her interview, below: