Washington D.C., Mar 10, 2021 / 15:00 pm
As Congress passed a massive COVID relief package on Wednesday, leading U.S. bishops called the lack of abortion funding restrictions in the bill "unconscionable," while commending other provisions.
The House on Wednesday passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 by a vote of 220-211. Only one Democrat, Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) voted for the package, while no Republicans supported it.
The relief bill does not include provisions that prohibit funding of abortions-a policy that a previous COVID stimulus bill, the CARES Act, included. Members of both the House and Senate attempted to insert pro-life amendments to the bill but were unsuccessful in doing so.
Leading U.S bishops-including Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, the president of the U.S. bishops' conference (USCCB), and six bishop-chairs of conference committees-issued a joint statement decrying the lack of pro-life protections while praising other parts of the bill.