He claimed support from Cardinal Justin Rigali’s past letters against direct funding for abortion.
Under federal policies that exist right now, Korzen told CNA, no federal funds are ever allowed to be used to pay for an abortion.
However, he did not consider federally subsidized insurance plans that cover abortion to be “direct funding,” explaining that differing interpretations of federal funding were a “sticking point.”
“If direct funding of abortion means you can take a subsidy and buy an insurance plan that covers whatever services you want, then we have direct funding of abortion under current law. But I don’t think we do.”
CNA asked Korzen about his charge that that some pro-life advocates aren’t serious about finding a “workable solution” to the abortion controversy in the health care bill.
He said that in general, it appears to him that the pro-life side, including the Catholic bishops, is emphasizing “Stupak or nothing.”
He reported attending a meeting several months prior with a “high-level official with the USCCB.”
“This person said ‘We’re in persuasion mode, we’re not in compromise mode.’
“That tells the story right there,” Korzen commented to CNA.
He characterized “the pro-choice community” as generally engaging in “a good faith effort to find a middle ground,” citing some of its allies’ support for the Nelson language he believes goes beyond existing policy.
“So I see one side of this debate really coming to the table and trying to work ways that we can move forward. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen that from many voices in the pro-life community, including the USCCB.”
(Story continues below)
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The U.S. bishops have been active in working for abortion funding and abortion subsidy restrictions in proposed health care legislation. Richard Doerflinger, the associate director of the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, recently said that the USCCB would strongly urge Democrats and Republicans to vote to waive a point of order blocking a Senate vote if an acceptable agreement on abortion funding restrictions is reached with leaders in Congress.