Via Electronic Delivery
Health and Human Services Committee
Re: Opposition to Section 10 of SF 70
Chair Wiklund and Members of the Committee:
We write to highlight and express our opposition to Section 10 of SF 70, which would eliminate the requirement that no public funds be used for coverage of abortion under Minnesota Care.
Minnesota’s Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Health Association of Minnesota have consistently supported health care reform derived from our core values: respect for the dignity of every human person; preferential option for the poor and vulnerable; and advancing the common good. Like any basic element of life, health care is necessary for development, sustains us, and should be accessible and affordable for everyone. Unfortunately, with this change Minnesota Care will no longer respect the dignitiy of every human person, including pre-born children.
Historically, our organizations supported and help craft Minnesota Care when it was a pioneering approach to get more health care coverage for the poor and vulnerable. In fact, then Executive Director of the Catholic Conference, Msgr. James Habiger, testified multiple times about the need for this health care program in order to expand coverage and take another step toward health care coverage for all. He played a key role in its creation and passage.
Recently, our organizations have continued to support efforts to expand health care coverage using Minnesota Care, including to provide access to the program to the undocumented immigrants in our state. This support stems from our belief that health care policy should strive to make health care available and accessible to everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable, regardless of immigration status.
It is because of our respect for the dignity of every human person that we oppose Section 10 of SF 70, which removes the restriction of public funding for abortions in Minnesota Care. Healthcare is about fostering health and healing; it should never take a life or destroy it. This is the wrong use of public funds and needlessly infuses a divisive issue into an important program with broad support.
We appreciate your consideration and are grateful for your work on behalf of all Minnesotans.
Minnesota Catholic Conference
Catholic Health Association—Minnesota