WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, the U.S. Senate voted 51 to 48 to reject a Congressional Review Act resolution that would overturn an interim final rule from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) which added abortion to veterans’ and dependents’ health benefits packages. In response, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of Arlington, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following joint statement:
“It is a gross failure that the Senate did not pass this lifesaving resolution. Our heroes and their dependents deserve quality health care services, instead of policies to end the lives of their own children. Many veterans face tremendous life challenges, especially as the active duty experience too often involves significant mental health traumas and can be followed by a difficult readjustment to civilian life. It is inhumane to provide fully taxpayer-funded abortion (which itself can increase mental health risks) as a so-called solution to pregnancy, instead of resources needed to welcome a child and flourish as a family. We continue to urge Congress to prevent implementation of this harmful policy, and to provide instead real support for our military veterans and their loved ones.”
The USCCB, together with the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, submitted a joint regulatory comment letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs when the rule was announced in September, which can be read here.
A joint letter to Congress from Archbishop Broglio and Bishop Burbidge on the Department of Defense’s and the VA’s abortion policies can be read here.