Vasectomy: Okay for Catholic Husbands?

The Church teaches that it is reasonable for married couples to try to regulate births; in fact, the Catechism says that it is one of the “aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood.” (CCC 2299). However, a “legitimate intention” to regulate births does not “…justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception).” (Id.).

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“Fining charities because of their religious beliefs? What happened to the First Amendment? Why, Mr. President, why?”

Against a back-drop of scenes of the homeless and inner-city shelters, a new hard-hitting TV spot narrated by actress Cheryl Rhoads points out that Catholic Charities of Chicago is “one of the largest charities that serves the poor, but their services to the poor could be at risk with the $5 million fine that President Obama’s new mandate would force them to pay.”

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As of Aug. 2, it is federal law under Obamacare, that any female capable of conceiving — girls as young as 12 years of age — will be able to procure contraception, abortion without restriction and sterilization, at taxpayer cost, and not necessarily with the knowledge or consent of her parents.

If you think this is a positive turn of events, vote for Barack Obama. If not, don’t!

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Fortnight for Freedom Issue #10: The High Personal Costs of President Obama’s “Free” Birth Control.

by Richard M. Doerflinger

(This was written before the implementation of the now infamous HHS Mandate.)

On July 21, the health news site Natural Society. . . featured these breaking news headlines: “Newer Birth Control Pill Linked to Higher Risk of Blood Clots”; “Birth Control Increases Risk of Contracting, Transmitting HIV”; and finally, “Medical Panel Pushes for Free Birth Control for Women.”

Hmm, one might ask, who was on this medical panel? Dr. Kevorkian? But no, it was the Institute of Medicine, advising the Department of Health and Human Services on “preventive services for women” to mandate in virtually all private health plans under the new health care reform act.

HHS says it delegated this task to the IOM so people would see the outcome as based on “science” rather than politics. But IOM’s report seems based less on science than on the ideology of authors who share Planned Parenthood’s view of sex and procreation, several of whom have served on the boards of PP affiliates and other pro-abortion organizations. The report says enhanced access to contraception will reduce abortions, though there is ample evidence against that claim (PDF).

In fact, the panel recommends that health plans must cover all drugs approved by the FDA as prescription contraceptives – including the newly approved “emergency contraceptive” called Ella, which like RU-486 can cause an abortion weeks into pregnancy. When asked about a conscience exemption for those who have a moral or religious objection to this, an IOM spokesperson said it wasn’t her panel’s job to take account of other people’s personal “feelings.” Many fear HHS will take the same approach.

Secular news media – Time, U.S. News, USA Today, L.A. Times – obediently repeated the panel’s public relations message that it is offering “free” birth control for women. That message is nonsense. Currently women who want birth control coverage pay for it through their premiums, and sometimes also have a co-pay or out-of-pocket expense. Under the new mandate they will still pay for it, but the cost will be buried in the overall premium – and everyone else, including churches and other religious employers as well as individual Catholics, will be forced to pay for it in their premiums too, so payments coerced from those who object will make birth control coverage a bit cheaper for those who want it.

And what about the “cost” in women’s lives from those blood clots and cases of AIDS? Researchers have known about both problems for years. In 2005, for example, a study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control noted: “The positive link between pill use and HIV infection was… supported by a meta-analysis of 28 studies, including seven prospective studies.” Most American women haven’t been told this. Ironically, other “preventive services” recommended by the IOM include screening for sexually transmitted diseases. But why would you mandate something that can cause what the other services on your list seek to prevent?

The other big “cost,” of course, is the cost to freedom of religion and respect for conscience. Though not alone in its view, the Catholic Church has long been prophetic and counter-cultural in warning that artificial contraception and sterilization do not enhance women’s well-being. No American, of course, is required by law to believe that teaching. But should the government, in the name of all Americans, now coerce even the Church’s institutions into acting on the opposite view — when the evidence supporting its message is stronger than ever?

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Fortnight for Freedom Issue #2: It’s really all about abortion.

by Doug Lawrence

Once a couple makes a conscientious decision to prevent conception, the likelihood of abortion goes way, way up. Why? Simply because virtually all forms of artificial contraception have a high failure rate.

What constitutes a “high” rate? As little as a 1% failure rate may be considered high. How so? Consider this practical scenario: If  only 1% of U.S. commercial airline flights crashed each year,  some 200,000 passengers would die, and almost no one would feel safe flying the “friendly skies”.

Historical failure rates for birth control pills are substantially higher than one percent, while condoms routinely fail some twenty to fifty percent of the time. With abortion promoted and in many cases, subsidized by the government, contraceptive failure often leads to the untimely death of the baby.

The result is some 1.4 million abortions each year in the United States alone … accounting for 37 percent of the nearly 4 million annual recorded deaths in the United States … the number three cause of death … exceeded only by the “top twelve” major medical illnesses, combined.

Liberal/communist/socialist secular ideologues like our president, along with many who serve in the current U.S. House and Senate have long been committed to wide spread birth control and abortion at the hands of quasi-governmental entities like Planned Parenthood, in the hope of eliminating or minimizing the poor “underclasses” … so as to avoid the high costs associated with taking care of them.

These people … many of them allegedly Catholic … expect to achieve financial savings through government approved, institutionalized murder (legalized abortion) … yet somehow, they have been totally unable to live within their means. In truth, there’s no telling how many more innocents may have to be killed under ObamaCare, in order to bring the federal budget into balance.

While the problem of poverty still exists, the government has succeeded in denying the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness to over 50 million innocent human beings over the past 40 years, by permitting them to be slaughtered, while still in their mother’s wombs.

For these and many other very good reasons, the Catholic Church teaches … and has always taught … since the earliest days … that artificial birth control and abortion are intrinsic evils … contrary to both the will of God and the common good of all mankind.

Many in the U.S. government (and elsewhere) obviously believe otherwise. Hence, the current conflict over religious freedom.

The result is the current spate of federal lawsuits by the Catholic Church and other related entities, asking for relief from the onerous, narrowly framed and unconstitutional HHS contraceptive mandate recently handed down by the Obama regime, which seeks to force the Catholic Church (and others) to pay for birth control, sterilizations and abortions, in spite of their consistent and strongly held religious beliefs to the contrary.

Abortion is a much bigger “deal” than most people think

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Catholic Medical Association Women Physicians deliver stern letter to pro-abortion women Senators.

Brief summary:

Dear Senators Boxer, Murray, and Shaheen:

…As Catholic physicians, we swear before God to serve the sick with competence, compassion, and charity, always to their benefit and never to their harm.

Abortifacients, OCPs, and sterilization do not belong in a preventive services mandate because they are not preventive medicine and not good for women’s health.

President Obama’s mandate will prove harmful to women’s health and to the practice of medicine. It must be rescinded immediately.

Maricela P. Moffitt, M.D., M.P.H.,
President, Catholic Medical Association
Mary Keen, M.D., M.R.M.
Rebecca Peck, M.D.
Kathleen M. Raviele, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.,
Past President, Catholic Medical Association
Laura G. Reilly, M.D., A.B.P.N.

Read the entire letter

Why we’re standing up for religious freedom

…the federal government is still telling religious institutions to provide products and services they find objectionable, and this affront to religious liberty is unconstitutional.

According to this compromise, religious institutions still have to pay for something against their conscience — the health insurance that covers free contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization.

Adding one more step between the dealer and the goods doesn’t change the ultimate transaction that’s going on here.

This sleight-of-hand maneuver didn’t fool all of us. And for the many rallying around the nation today, it offends us.

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HHS Mandate Fact Sheet (PDF)