Secular Franciscan Order in the United States
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Secular Franciscan Order, in Union with FAN, Calls
For Health Reform that Recognizes Human Dignity

The U.S. Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) called for health care reform that protects life and recognizes human dignity during its national gathering Oct. 25 near Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The national body, representing 14,700 Secular Franciscans across the United States, approved a statement that says it is in union with Franciscan Action Network's call for reform as well as in support of the Catholic Bishops' position on health care.

"Our Catholic moral tradition teaches that every human being, from the moment of conception to natural death, has an innate dignity that entitles him or her to certain rights and protections," the statement says. "Included in these rights are the right to life and the right to have access to health care, which is essential to preserving human life and promoting human dignity.

"We affirm that health care reform legislation must be drafted to protect human life and dignity. A final health care reform bill must have respect for life at all stages of development, respect for consciences, affordability and inclusion of all members of society."