Kennedy: Catholic Church is Wrong on Abortion Funding

Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) said he disagrees with the Catholic Church’s opposition to taxpayer dollars being used for abortion services.

Kennedy joined other Democratic lawmakers on a conference call to advocate for the repeal of the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the federal funding of abortion excluding cases of rape, incest or when a woman’s life is in danger. Congress has included the amendment in appropriations bills since 1976.

PJM asked Kennedy how he responds to his constituents who object to the federal funding of abortion on religious grounds.

“I think the teaching out of the Catholic Church has always resonated with me personally and one of the central core tenants of that is the concept of human dignity. And I think, I believe, a big portion of this debate is about the dignity of everybody, particularly women, and part of that is with respect to their own decisions and with respect to their medical care. This is a point obviously where the church and I disagree,” Kennedy said on Wednesday’s conference call.

“However, it is also a point where I think we are seeing throughout our society as well – you know, I think, two points: one, the idea that as a member of government, just because the religious teachings of the church that I affiliate with doesn’t put me in a position to dictate those teachings to my constituents or others,” he added.

Kennedy argued that religious objections to abortion should not be used to inflict harm on others. He said there is a connection between the Hyde Amendment and religious freedom.