Building the culture of life

Column: Our new health care law – what now?

by Ron Kelsey

The recently passed health care law represents the largest expansion of the killing of unborn babies, via federal funding of abortion, since Roe v. Wade. Already, without this new law, an unprecedented level of killing of innocent human beings has occurred in U.S. history.

St. Thomas Aquinas would call this new heath care law a perversion or perverted law because it violates the natural law — and it is certainly unnatural for mothers and fathers to participate in the killing of their unborn child. We need to recognize that law is also a teacher, and this health care law perpetuates the false teaching that it is permissible to kill innocent human beings.

So what do we do now? We must work hard to eliminate this intolerable federal funding of abortion. There are several ways in which this could occur: 1) the law could be amended to remove federal funding of abortion; 2) the law could be repealed in its entirety; 3) the law could be held to be unconstitutional by the courts; 4) the U.S. Congress could simply not appropriate funds for this new law; and 5) we could vote into office pro-life politicians who will enact moral laws. We need to fast and pray for success in these efforts.

Some argue that there is much good that the health care law will bring about and imply that we can therefore tolerate the funding of abortion. But it is not morally valid to compare the good that might come from the health care law such that it allows one to accept the evil of abortion. Abortion is an intrinsic evil, which means that it is always evil and can never be licit. We can have a health care law that does not include funding of abortion.

As we work on changing this seriously morally flawed health care law, it is important to understand that there are many aspects of improving our current health care system that involve prudential judgment, and, as such, represent areas that people of good will can legitimately disagree on the best ways to achieve improvements. These areas include: the role of government; deficits, debt and spending levels; how to achieve access to health care; how costs can be managed and allocated; how to fix the financially troubled Medicare/ Medicaid system; possible rationing; and other areas.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann and Bishop Robert Finn issued a joint pastoral letter on Aug. 22, 2009, that identified the proper moral principles that should be considered in these efforts to improve our current system. You can find this excellent joint pastoral letter at the Web site: http://catholickey. bishops-issue-joint-health.html.

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About the author

Ron Kelsey

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