Health Care

“Catholic health care ministry is rooted in a commitment to promote and defend human dignity; this is the foundation of its concern to respect the sacredness of every human life from the moment of conception until death. The first right of the human person, the right to life, entails a right to the means for the proper development of life, such as adequate health care.”

Ethical and Religious Directives, USCCB


The Catholic Church has millennia of experience as providers of health care for all, especially the poor. Among the causes that contribute to poverty are “inadequate measures for guaranteeing basic health care” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, 447). It is in this spirit we reiterate our Catholic tradition that teaches that health care is a natural human right, essential to protecting human life and dignity.

We believe there are several criteria that should be considered when evaluating a health care proposal. It should 1) ensure access to quality, readily accessible, affordable, life giving health care for all; 2) retain longstanding requirements that federal funds not be used for elective abortions or plans that include them, and effectively protect conscience rights; and 3) protect the access to health care that immigrants currently have and remove current barriers to access.

Ultimately it is the role of our civil leaders to decide what is most practical in achieving the common good. We ask them to set aside partisan concerns and consider this issue with prudence and a commitment to the common good.

Specific positions include:

  • Supports state initiatives that would make health care more readily available and affordable to all Iowans, including immigrants and their children.
  • Opposes abortion, including direct or indirect public funding of abortion.
  • Supports the conscience rights of medical professionals and institutions.
  • Prohibit euthanasia and assisted suicide.


2203, 2017

Legislature to discuss funding for mental health services

As Pope Francis has said, “Health, indeed, is not a consumer good, but a universal right which means that access to healthcare services cannot be a privilege." One of the ways the issue of healthcare [...]

2304, 2015

Ethical and Religious Directives of Catholic Health Care Services

“The purpose of these Ethical and Religious Directives then is twofold: first, to reaffirm the ethical standards of behavior in health care that flow from the Church’s teaching about the dignity of the human person; [...]