US Bishops Praise Plan to Provide Vaccines

But Concern About Possibility of Providing Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

How Societies Transformed
COVID vaccine

Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on International Justice and Peace commended President Biden for his commitment to provide 500 million COVID-19 vaccines to lower-income countries. The amount was recently matched by the G-7 nations, bringing the total of vaccines to one billion.

Their full statement follows:

“As world leaders work together to help bring an end to this pandemic, we are grateful for President Biden’s leadership to aid the poor and vulnerable around the world who remain most at-risk.

In his 2021 Easter message, Pope Francis said, ‘Vaccines are an essential tool in this fight. I urge the entire international community, in a spirit of global responsibility, to commit to overcoming delays in the distribution of vaccines and to facilitate their distribution, especially in the poorest countries.’ This gesture of global solidarity is timely, responding to those regions with the greatest need, particularly in Africa and South Asia.

“We encourage the Administration to partner with Catholic and other well-established and broad-reaching faith-based health care structures throughout the developing world to facilitate and strengthen vaccine distribution as we work together to save and restore lives.”

On a less positive note, on June 23, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected an opportunity to vote on the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R.18) by a vote of 209 to 218. H.R.18 would apply the Hyde Amendment government-wide and permanently prohibit taxpayer subsidies for abortion and abortion coverage. Kat Talalas with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities issued the following statement:

“It is gravely wrong to force all Americans to pay for the killing of innocent babies with their tax dollars. The Hyde Amendment has saved at least 2.4 million lives by preventing taxpayer-funded abortion. Now, this 45-year-old bipartisan policy is under unprecedented threat with both the Administration and key members of Congress committed to eliminating it.

“Most Americans oppose using their tax dollars to pay for elective abortions, and the failure of the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 18 is unjustifiable. Congress must act to protect millions of babies and their mothers from the tragedy of abortion and protect American taxpayers from paying for the destruction of innocent human life.”