Bishops, Nuns Differ on Health Care Reform - FOX 26 News | MyFoxHouston

Bishops, Nuns Differ on Health Care Reform


The big vote on sweeping health care legislation could be just days away. President Obama's plan is dividing the country, Democrats and even the Catholic Church. The U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops is against the Senate-passed legislation, while leaders of thousands of nuns are in support of it with abortion as the dividing issue.

In Houston, FOX 26 News reporter Sally MacDonald met Catholic sisters who are siding with the bishops instead of the other women. Sister Yvonne Wuensche and Sister Helen Spanos are part of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament.

"Life is very precious. I know the Catholic Church does teach morality, and I know our teaching and our bishops are saying don't do it," said Sister Wuensche.

Many Catholic sisters volunteer in health care settings and have witnessed the toll on uninsured families. On Wednesday, the leaders of 60 women's religious orders representing 59,000 Catholic sisters sent a letter to all members of Congress in support of the bill. They say it is a crucial next step in realizing health care for all.

The letter reads, "Despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions."

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops disagrees and says the bill will provide indirect funding for abortion. Sister Wuensche and Sister Spanos are not hesistating to side with the bishops and break with the other women.

"It's not hard at all. We're different. We're not all the same," said Sister Spanos.

"There have been many, many years when people had no insurance. People used to help each other, and I think that's where they need to focus on," said Sister Wuensche.

President Obama is focusing on getting the health care bill on his desk so that he can give lawmakers 72 hours to look at it. They still do not know exactly what they are voting on or how much it will cost.

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