Support for the reproductive health care provider Planned Parenthood continues to be a contentious issue for Catholic groups and bishops.
According to Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, Catholic lawmakers who support Planned Parenthood should be denied Communion "because they’ve defected from the Church’s faith."
"It advocates contraception," Bruskewitz told LifeSiteNews. "In its origins, from Margaret Sanger, it concentrates on racism. It believes certain races are inferior. It has certainly a eugenic aspect to it – extermination of people who are considered unfit to live, a la Nazis."
"And of course abortion is an abominable crime," he continued. "The Second Vatican Council is very clear about that. Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion supplier, business, and purveyor, in the United States."
The American Life League called for 62 Catholic members of the House of Representatives who voted against defunding Planned Parenthood to be excommunicated from the Church.
Republicans introduced legislation in February that would eliminate all $327 million in funding for Title X, a family planning program that began 40 years ago under President Richard Nixon. And while Planned Parenthood receives millions of dollars from the program, Title X funds cannot be used for abortion services.
In a video released April 4, the American Life League compared supporters of Planned Parenthood to supporters of Freemasonry, Nazism, and communism.
In contrast, the group Catholics for Choice said it was "deeply ashamed" that Catholic bishops supported a "vicious, deceptive smear to destroy an organization that plays a vital role in providing basic health services to millions of Americans."
"As Catholic voters and Catholic state legislators from both parties argued to Congress, it is a matter of social justice and economic good sense to provide assistance through Title X so American families can make their own decisions, in good conscience, about what’s best for themselves and their families," Jon O’Brien, the president of Catholics for Choice, said in a statement.
"We are glad that this time Congress listened to Catholics instead of the Catholic bishops and their allies whose proposals would have meant greater economic hardship for many men, women and families in this country."