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)

More abortion problems come to light at Catholic hospitals

“Most Catholic hospitals, their networks, their clinics, even on the labor delivery floor, do allow prescription of contraceptives. Some also allow sterilization … sometimes even elective sterilizations,” she said, adding that “a very few, I think a handful” perform abortions.

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CHINA’S THIRTY YEARS WAR AGAINST ITS OWN PEOPLE

Population Research Institute
Weekly Briefing 10/05/2010, Vol. 12, No. 27
pop.org
by Steve Mosher, President PRI

I was surprised when Beijing decided to celebrate (!) the thirtieth anniversary of the One-Child Policy this week.   I thought, quite frankly, that the declaration of a national day of mourning would have been more appropriate.

But I was even more taken aback when the head of China’s National Population and Family Planning Commission, a woman named Li Bin, announced that China would continue to enforce this same Draconian policy for “decades” to come.

Decades?   This is, after all, a policy that has led to a slaughter of the innocents of Biblical proportions. Hundreds of millions of
women have been forcibly aborted and sterilized.   Homes have been razed, livestock confiscated, and exorbitant fines levied.
In all, 400 million people are missing from the Chinese population as a result of the one-child policy.   Like previous Chinese
Communist Party-orchestrated disasters such as the Great Leap Forward, or the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, this policy, too, has been a disaster for the Chinese people.

I should know.  I was in China when the one-child policy began, 30 years ago.

What I saw then, living in an agricultural commune in rural Guangdong, rivals anything that happened in Nazi Germany.
One day in 1980 several hundred young mothers, all pregnant with second or higher-order children, were ordered to attend
population control meetings.   There they were told that they would all have to abort their pregnancies.  Those who refused
were arrested for the “crime” of being pregnant and locked up until they, too, buckled under the pressure and submitted to
an abortion.

At that point they were taken to the local medical clinic and given a lethal injection into their uterus.   If their bodies did
not expel their dead or dying babies within two days, they were subjected to a cesarean section abortion.   Most horrific
of all, babies born alive were killed by means of an injection of formaldehyde into the “soft spot” on the crown of their heads.
Those few women who managed to escape arrest and had their babies in secret were assessed heavy fines.

Everything that I witnessed then, from the forced abortions of women in the third-trimester of pregnancy to government-
sanctioned infanticide, is still happening now.  Those women who manage to avoid the dragnet by going into hiding are now
subjected to even heavier fines, which currently run three to five times the family’s annual income.  Those who can’t pay this
huge amount have had their homes destroyed and their possessions and livestock confiscated.

Moreover, such a child remains a “black child,” that is, one who does not exist in the eyes of the state.   Such children are
nonpersons, turned away from the government clinic if they fall ill, barred from attending a government school of any kind, and not considered for any kind of government employment later in life.   They are not allowed to marry or start families of their own, since the government has decreed that “black children” will not be allowed to reproduce.   One generation of illegals is enough.

The Chinese government, supported by foreign population control zealots, believe that its program should be held up as
a population control role model for the rest of the world.  In reality, it should be roundly condemned for its widespread
and systematic violations of human rights, especially the rights of women.

But even those who shy away from defending China’s brutal repression of its population sometimes argue in favor of the
one-child policy on other grounds.   China is often held up by the UN Population Fund, for example-as a positive example
of a county that has been able to slow population growth rates dramatically, and which has achieved prosperity as a result.
But to praise the country that has become the ugly poster child of forced abortion and coerced sterilization for the economic
growth that these inhuman policies have supposedly generated is not only inconsistent, but also wrong.

China is clearly worse off economically as a result of eliminating from its population 400 million of the most productive and
enterprising people the world has ever known.   China’s astonishing economic performance-its annual GDP growth over the past three decades is close to 10%-is not only a tribute to the tremendous work ethic of the Chinese people, but also has
led to labor shortages in China’s coastal provinces.   Every baby born in China today is a net economic asset.   How
much more would China have been able to achieve with an even larger population?

Some would argue that adding people would overburden the Chinese environment, but the PRC has been an ecological
disaster zone from the time of Mao’s forced-pace industrialization programs in the 1950s.  The same remains
true today, as the Chinese leadership remains far more concerned about the economic growth rate than about ensuring
that the populace has clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. Witness the government-mandated shutdown of all
factories in the Beijing region in the days leading up to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.   Once the athletes (and the
foreign journalists) were gone, the smokestacks resumed spewing out their plumes of black smoke.  Nothing had
changed.   This is to say that the sorry state of China’s environment has far more to do with misguided political decisions, and the lack of public accountability for the actions of both government and privately owned businesses, than it does with the number of people.

The one-child policy has been a social disaster as well.  Two generations of Chinese have grown up with no siblings, no
cousins, and no aunts and uncles.  This radical shrinking of the boundaries of the family is, in itself, is a great poverty.
Then there is a problem of female infanticide and sex selective abortion, which has eliminated tens of millions of little girls
from the population, leaving an equal number of young men without brides to marry.   Prostitution, homosexuality, and
gang activity are on the rise as a result.

Finally, there is the demographic snare that the one-child policy has set for the Chinese people.   Because of the radical cutback in births, the Chinese population is aging faster than any human population in human history.  The worker/dependency ratio is unsustainable.   How can an only child support two parents and four grandparents in retirement?   I am afraid that this will lead the Chinese government to embark upon a “one-grandparent
policy” in years to come, in which tens of millions of elderly Chinese will be urged to accept euthanasia, perhaps in return
for their only grandchild being allowed to go to college. Forced abortion and forced euthanasia are two sides of the same
debased coin.

For all its failings, I do think that the one-child policy has served one important purpose as far as the Chinese Communist Party is concerned: It has helped to maintain the muscular rigor of the one-party dictatorship that rules China.   China is a police state, after all, and such a state, to remain strong, must have something to police.   Economic controls have been loosened over the past 30 years, so control over other aspects of life must be tightened.  The brutal one-child policy is one consequence of such a system’s relentless drive for control over people’s lives.

Do I think that the Chinese Communist Party really intends to continue, as Li Bin asserts, its one-child policy “decades” into
the future?   Absolutely.   And it will certainly never admit that the policy was a mistake.   One-party dictatorships don’t make mistakes of such consequence-at least if they want to stay in power.

Submitted by Jerry V.

Darwin’s idea has cost lives

Darwin’s second catastrophic error was to promote the view that the poorest sections of society were genetically inferior to the educated middle class and that most, if not all, the traits that led to pauperism were hereditary. Darwin’s analysis generated a fear that if the working class continued to breed faster than the middle class, then the society would continue down a spiral of genetic degeneration.

It was this fear that animated the eugenics movement, which in Britain was largely led by members of Darwin’s own family. His son, Leonard, became the chairman of the Eugenics Society, agitating for the establishment of flying squads of scientists with powers of arrest over the poorest third of the population. The plan was that anyone deemed “unfit” by these tribunals would be segregated in colonies or sterilised to prevent them breeding. Fortunately, the eugenicists did not get all they wanted in Britain. Nevertheless, they did succeed in getting measures passed by Parliament that led to the imprisonment without trial of more than 40,000 people. Many were detained for “moral imbecility” – having children out of wedlock, committing petty crimes, or displaying homosexual inclinations. Some would remain incarcerated for 20 years.

In the United States the eugenicists did succeed in getting compulsory sterilisation laws passed in 33 states. At least 60,000 Americans were forcibly sterilised and perhaps a further 100,000 bullied into consenting to the procedure. The last state to revoke its eugenic sterilisation statute did so in 1982.

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