Boston’s Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley stepped into the debate swirling now in Washington on funding for Planned Parenthood Monday, calling on lawmakers to defund the women’s health organization.
“The most recent revelations about Planned Parenthood’s willingness to traffic in fetal tissue from abortions, and to alter abortion methods not for any reason related to women’s health but to obtain more “intact” organs,” O’Malley wrote, “is the latest demonstration of a callousness toward women and their unborn children that is shocking to many Americans.”
The Boston archbishop is chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities.
O'Malley has taken many public stands in opposition to abortion, among them boycotting graduation ceremonies at Boston College because the school invited a pro-choice speaker and giving an homily at the National Prayer Vigil for Life in January.
The United States Senate was scheduled to vote Monday whether to open debate on federal funding for the group, which has come under scrutiny after the release of hidden camera footage showing a top Planned Parenthood executive talking about its methods in collecting and transporting fetal organs. Anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress recorded the video of a conversation with Deborah Nucatola, senior director of medical services, via hidden camera.
The video, which by Monday had more than 2.7 million views, sparked new criticism from Republicans who have long fought to undermine and cut funding for Planned Parenthood.
The full text of Cardinal O’Malley’s letter:
I am writing to ask your support for S. 1881, to withhold federal funds from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and its affiliates.
It has long been troubling to many Americans that the nation’s largest abortion network, performing over a third of all abortions, receives over half a billion taxpayer dollars a year. This concern has rightly grown in recent years.
The most recent revelations about Planned Parenthood’s willingness to traffic in fetal tissue from abortions, and to alter abortion methods not for any reason related to women’s health but to obtain more “intact” organs, is the latest demonstration of a callousness toward women and their unborn children that is shocking to many Americans.
The Catholic Church comes to this issue from a perspective rooted in experience. Catholic charitable agencies and pregnancy help centers have helped countless pregnant women find life-affirming alternatives to abortion. Our hospitals and other health facilities are second to none in providing quality health care for women.
We support the legislative proposal to reallocate federal funding, so that women can obtain their health care from providers that do not promote abortion. It is my sincere hope that you will be able to help advance this goal by supporting S. 1881.