WASHINGTON -- The leaders of more than four dozen U.S. congregations of women religious are urging members of Congress to "cast a life-affirming 'yes' vote" on the Senate's version of health reform legislation.
"Despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions," they said in a letter delivered to all members of Congress March 17. "It will uphold long-standing conscience protections and it will make historic new investments -- $250 million -- in support of pregnant women."
Their letter came two days after the U.S. bishops restated their objections to provisions in the measure they said would expand federal funding of abortions.
Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said March 15 that the bishops were "not quibbling over technicalities" and that the bill deliberately omitted "the necessary language that could have taken this moral question off the table."
In their letter the nuns said theirs "is the real pro-life stance, and we as Catholics are all for" the health bill.