Beliefnet
The Deacon's Bench

Yesterday, the country’s first Catholic Vice President had a few things to say about health care reform and abortion:

joe-biden.jpgVice President Joseph Biden, a practicing Catholic, is using his faith and his position to try and help convince those in Congress who have fears about the health care legislation and federal funding of abortion to vote for the bill.

Biden says that he understands there’s disagreement but he has reached out to those who are worried to help convince them.

“I assured them, and this will not allow you to take any subsidized government money you get and say, with that money I’m going to go now I can go purchase an insurance plan that provides for abortions. The principle is intact,” Biden said in an interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper.

The discussion over federal funding for abortion has become a hot-button issue in the health care debate. Michigan Congressman Bart Stupak (D) has flatly said he will not vote for the legislation in its current form because it does not restrict federal funding for abortions. Stupak and others have asked for stricter language, closer to what is known as the Hyde Amendment (after former Congressman Henry Hyde, R-Ill.)

Biden says he’s always supported the Hyde amendment and he’s certain that once the bill passes the issue won’t be as toxic, even within the Catholic Church. “I’m confident even the bishops, once this bill is passed and see how it operates, are not going to have the concern any longer,” Biden told Tapper.

These are the same bishops who, during the 2008 campaign, said Biden should not receive communion over his abortion stance.

There’s much more at the link.

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