03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Denver Archbishop: Broken Promises On Abortion Funding In Health Care Reform

Denver's Catholic Archbishop Charles Chaput is urging his congregation to oppose federal health care legislation that funds abortions.

KDVR and the Associated Press reported:

Chaput says President Barack Obama failed to keep a promise to not provide public money for abortion in the health care plan. He's asking Catholics to demand their representatives in Congress "respect Catholic and pro-life concerns."

He will address the issue by reading a letter in mass this Sunday.

Chaput opposes the House version of the health care bill that would include abortions in a public plan and give private plans federal subsidiaries for covering abortions.

In a column this week Chaput said:

Eight weeks ago President Obama promised a joint session of Congress that "his" health-care plan would not include or provide public monies for abortion. This seemed persuasive because it made sense. As polling has shown, most Americans do not want abortion or its funding included in any publicly supported health plan.

Excluding abortion funding from the president's health-care efforts - I mean really excluding it and not sneaking it in under the cover of some bureaucratic shell game--would be an easy concession for Congress and the White House to make. It's a modest price to pay for Catholic and similar pro-life support, or at least their neutrality. It might also put some meat on the bones of Washington's talk about "common ground."

In an interview with the Catholic News Association, Bishop James Conley, the auxiliary Bishop of Denver, stressed the Catholic Church's support for basic health care being a right for everyone. But he is concerned that Congress will pass health care reform covering abortion, contrary to Obama's earlier promise.

"Health-care reform needs to exclude abortion and its funding. It needs to provide strong conscience protections for medical professionals and institutions. Despite all the claims to the contrary, none of the bills currently facing Congress adequately addresses these needs."