News Release: Michigan Catholic Conference Criticizes Congresswoman Kilpatrick’s Vote to Support Public Funding of Abortion in Washington, D.C.

July 9, 2009

(LANSING)—In a letter dated July 1, Michigan Catholic Conference President and Chief Executive Officer Sister Monica Kostielney, R.S.M. urged Congresswoman Carolyn C. Kilpatrick (D-13) to support the Tiahrt-Davis amendment to the Financial Services bill, which would have restored a ban on all publicly funded abortions in the District of Columbia. On July 7, Congresswoman Kilpatrick voted against the amendment in the House Appropriations Committee and, with additional opposition from committee members, the bipartisan amendment was defeated. MCC Vice President for Public Policy Paul A. Long today made the following statement regarding Congresswoman Kilpatrick’s vote:

“It is becoming more and more difficult to accept in good faith the articulated desire of the ‘pro-choice’ constituency to decrease the number of abortions in the United States,” said Long, “when good policy such as the Tiahrt-Davis amendment is opposed and defeated. Considering the abortion business’s own research indicates that public funding more than doubles the number of abortions, it is challenging to recognize Congresswoman Kilpatrick’s vote as anything but a nod to the abortion industry.”

According to the Guttmacher Institute’s R. Jones, et al., “Patterns in the Socioeconomic Characteristics of Women Obtaining Abortions in 2000–2001,” Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, vol. 34 (2002), 226-235 at 231), the abortion rate among women in the Medicaid program more than doubles (from 35 abortions per 1000 women to 89 per 1000) if they live in a state that funds abortions in Medicaid.

“In addition to the plain-for-all-to-see fact that public funding leads to a substantial increase in the abortion rate, the general public has spoken overwhelmingly against using citizen tax-dollars to pay for the destruction of human life. In 1988, the people of Michigan voted 57%–43% to oppose Medicaid funding of abortion, which has since helped slash the number of abortions in Michigan in half. Since Proposal A, there has been next to no support from the public in favor of taxpayer funded abortions.

“Disrespect for the dignity and sanctity of human life must be identified wherever it takes place. Congresswoman Kilpatrick’s vote in support of taxpayer funded abortion is alarming, and forces those who support life to ask from where the common ground will come after a vote like this.”

Michigan Catholic Conference is the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in this state.

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