Sister Carol Keehan, the uber-compensated (over $850K a year to her order) President of the Catholic Health Association, broke with the USCCB and Pro Life groups and announced the CHA’s support of the pro-abortion Senate health care bill.
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Catholic Health Association is coming under fire today for releasing a statement not only endorsing the pro-abortion Senate health care bill but issuing a misleading statement making it appear the bill does not fund abortions. The head of a national pro-life organization disabused the CHA in response.
Sister Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association, a network of Catholic hospitals, issued the new statement.
“The time is now for health reform,” the statement backing the bill said.
“On the moral issue of abortion, there is no disagreement,” Keehan contends. “On the technical issue of whether this bill prevents federal funding of abortions, we differ with Right to Life.”
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life, spoke with LifeNews.com about Keehan’s statement and dismissed the so-called segregation of funds as an accounting gimmick.
“The House and Senate bills do not merely differ on a ‘technical issue,’as Carol Keehan would have people believe,” he said. “This is another regrettably attempt to minimize the substantive issues involved in order to smooth the way for the Obama legislation.”
“In reality, the Senate bill contains multiple pro-abortion provisions, which in total constitute the most pro-abortion single piece of legislation to reach the House floor since Roe v. Wade,” Johnson added.
Johnson pointed to the new memo from the Catholic bishops to Congress agreeing that “the Senate bill would result in direct federal funding of elective abortions, federal subsidies for plans that cover elective abortions (including some federally administered plans), and authority for federal officials to mandate inclusion of abortion coverage in private plans.”
He has written a detailed analysis of the myriad of ways in which the Senate bill forces Americans to pay for abortions and could force insurance companies to cover them.
This is not the first time that Sr. Keehan has chosen to deviate from Church teaching. She has supported pro-abortion political appointments and supported previous pro-abortion health care bills. This of course, is her choice to make and judgment is reserved to God. However, her doing so under the banner of CHA creates confusion and scandal and affords a smokescreen to pro-abortion politicians who can use the CHA endorsement to mislead Catholics and the media. She has succeeded in making CHA, like the National Catholic Reporter – Catholic In Name Only.
Of course, as Jack Smith in the Catholic Key Blog pointed out months ago:
CHA is not a repository of Catholic social teaching with regard to health care or an association of moral theologians or a charity in service of the poor. It is a trade association. There is nothing wrong with a trade association, but too many reporters, including members of the Catholic press, have sought comment from CHA without recognizing they are primarily an organization with a vested financial interest in the outcome of the health care debate.
Please make sure your Catholic circle knows the truth about CHA and feel free to express your feelings to CHA here.