Catholic Voters Disagree with US Catholic Bishops on Health Care Reform

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Catholic Voters Disagree with US Catholic Bishops on Health Care Reform

Amie Newman

Findings from a recent poll conducted for Catholics for Choice presents new information on just where Catholics stand regarding health care reform and abortion coverage.

Catholics for Choice released the findings of a new poll today with some unexpected results.

According to the press release, 

"Catholics support both a public option in
healthcare reform and a plan that would include
funding for abortion."

And lest you think those polled are not church-going Catholics, 84% of those actually attend church regularly from several times a week to a few times a year. 

Sex. Abortion. Parenthood. Power.

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The poll found that a large majority of Catholics actually support funding for abortion care – whether via a public option or private insurer – and that a majority of Catholics disagreed with the US Catholic Bishops:

Catholic voters believe the US Catholic bishops are
wrong on healthcare reform. Sixty-eight percent
disapprove of US bishops saying that all Catholics
should oppose the entire healthcare reform plan if it
includes coverage for abortion and 56 percent think
the bishops should not take a position on healthcare
reform legislation in Congress.

Despite what many conservatives argue, Catholic
voters are against refusal clauses for institutions that
take taxpayer dollars. Sixty-five percent said that
hospitals and clinics that take taxpayer dollars should
not be allowed to refuse certain procedures or
medications based on religious beliefs. In addition,
60 percent believe that hospitals and clinics that take
taxpayer dollars should be required to include
condoms as part of HIV prevention.


Conservative, anti-choice groups portray their organizational agendas as consistent with "mainstream American perspectives" on abortion provision and government funding. However, as CFC president, Jon O’Brien says, 

"It is telling that the US bishops have
done two polls on abortion recently. On neither
occasion did they poll only Catholics. We did and the
results are clear: US Catholic voters see reproductive
healthcare as part of a comprehensive healthcare
package–and that includes abortion for women who
need it."