The Protect Life Act would apply longstanding federal policies on abortion funding, and conscience rights on abortion, to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) passed last March, a USCCB statement says. On February 15, the full House Energy and Commerce Committee approved H.R. 358 in a bi-partisan vote (33 to 19), and rejected three amendments that would have weakened the bill.
â€œThe committeeâ€™s action is an important step toward authentic health care reform that respects the dignity of all, from conception onward,â€ Deirdre McQuade, USCCB pro-life spokeswoman, said.
As Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, chairman of the bishopsâ€™ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, said in his January 20 letter to Congress (www.usccb.org/healthcare/cardinal-dinardo-HR358-ltr.pdf), the Protect Life Act â€œwill bring PPACA into line with policies on abortion and conscience rights that have long prevailed in other federal health programs.â€
â€œI now urge all Representatives to support the Protect Life Act and oppose all weakening amendments when it comes before them,â€ McQuade said.