In Pennsylvania's

Monday, August 29, 2011

Abortionist practicing medicine for Catholic Health East

Judith M. Persichilli, President and CEO
Catholic Health East
3805 West Chester Pike, Suite 100
Newtown Square, Pennsylvania 19073

Dear Ms. Persichilli,

Of the six Catholic hospitals operating within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, only Holy Redeemer does NOT fall under the very large umbrella of Catholic Health East:For many, an August 10th NY Times piece was their first introduction to the term "selective reduction" - nothing more than a euphemism for abortion, often for the well-to-do. Among those contemplating a "selective reduction," the blogosphere indicates Dr. Frank Craparo to be a highly popular practitioner:

  • "For the women who are considering reduction and might read this, the dr. who will be doing my reduction, Dr. Craparo, questioned one of the commonly cited facts about selective reduction. I asked him about the often-heard statistic that the babies remaining after a reduction tend to be born early....Dr. Craparo said he was actually getting ready to study his own practice's results where the women stay with the practice for the duration of their pregnancy" (FertileThoughts.com, 8/9/10).
  • "If you are willing to travel, I really loved Dr Craparo. Many women in this forum have recommended him. He is about a 2 hr drive from Manhattan (Abington PA)" (FertileThoughts.com, 6/9/11).

St. Mary Medical Center's web site did - and Mercy Health System's web site does - indicate association with Dr. Frank Craparo! Until recently, the St. Mary web site was even extolling Dr. Craparo's supposedly pioneering efforts in the prenatal diagnosis of Down Syndrome (While a "selective reduction" could not be performed at St. Mary's, it would cerainly be easy enough for Craparo to make arrangements for St. Mary's patients to go off site.). How could anyone at a Catholic Health East facility think that association with Dr. Craparo was/is morally acceptable? Well, a clue is provided on St. Mary Medical Center's web site with its disclaimer, regarding adherence to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services:

  • "Health Care practitioners at St. Mary Medical Center abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services while providing care at any of the St. Mary Medical Center campuses. Many of these practitioners also provide services outside of St. Mary Medical Center where there is no institutional obligation to practice under the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Patients are encouraged to continue to engage in a dialogue with these practitioners to express their religious and ethical choices regarding their treatment outside of St. Mary Medical Center."

Mercy Health System's web site suggests disturbing ignorance - even as to the existance of the most current edition of the ERDs:

At the same time that the USCCB is urging people of good will to fight for conscience clause protections, Catholic Health East's seemingly cavalier attitude toward the ERDs is shocking. Catholic hospitals have no business allowing priveleges to physicians who are known to provide immoral services in their private practices or providing referrals to individuals who are known to provide immoral services. I believe that my opinion can be supported by the Vatican's Charter for Health Care Workers, as well as the ERDs.

While it appears that the names of Dr. Frank Craparo and his associate, Dr. Stephen Smith (In a widely publicized case, Dr. Smith was noted by the Huffington Post (& others) to have recommended abortion to a St. Mary Medical Center patient.), have been removed from the online directory of St. Mary Medical Center, both names remain on the online directory of Mercy Health System!
Sincerely,


  • As per the Vatican's Charter for Health Care Workers,

    61. The objectives of prenatal diagnoses warranting their request and practice should always be of benefit to the child and the mother; their purpose is to make possible therapeutic interventions, to bring assurance and peace to pregnant women who are anxious lest the fetus be deformed and are tempted to have an abortion, to prepare, if the prognosis is an unhappy one, for the welcome of a handicapped child.

    Prenatal diagnosis 'is gravely contrary to the moral law when it contemplates the possibility, depending on the result, of provoking an abortion. A diagnosis revealing the existence of a deformity or an hereditary disease should not be equivalent to a death sentence.'[135] [emphasis added]....


    143. If the health care worker is faced with legislation favorable to abortion he "must refuse politely but firmly."[274] "One can never obey a law that is intrinsically immoral, and this is so in the case of a law which admits, in principle, the lawfulness of abortion."[275]

    As a result, doctors and nurses are obliged to be conscientious objectors [emphasis added]. The great, fundamental value of life makes this obligation a grave moral duty for medical personnel who are encouraged by the law to carry out abortions or to cooperate proximately in direct abortion.

    Awareness of the inviolable value of life and of God's law protecting it, is antecedent to all positive human law. When the latter is contrary to God's law, conscience affirms its primary right and the primacy of God's law: "One must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29) [emphasis added].

    "It is not always easy to follow one's conscience in obedience to God's law. It may entail sacrifice and disadvantages, and one can in no way discount this cost; sometimes heroism is called for if one is to be faithful to these demands. Nevertheless, it must be clearly stated that the road of genuine progress for the human person passes through this constant fidelity to a conscience upholding rectitude and truth."[276] [emphasis added]


  • As per the Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Fifth Edition,

    5. Catholic health care services must adopt these Directives as policy, require adherence to them within the institution as a condition for medical privileges and employment, and provide appropriate instruction regarding the Directives for administration, medical and nursing staff, and other personnel.

    9. Employees of a Catholic health care institution must respect and uphold the religious mission of the institution and adhere to these Directives. They should maintain professional standards and promote the institution’s commitment to human dignity and the common good.

    37. An ethics committee or some alternate form of ethical consultation should be available to assist by advising on particular ethical situations, by offering educational opportunities, and by reviewing and recommending policies. To these ends, there should be appropriate standards for medical ethical consultation within a particular diocese that will respect the diocesan bishop’s pastoral responsibility as well as assist members of ethics committees to be familiar with Catholic medical ethics and, in particular, these Directives.

    45. Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo. Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers [Emphasis added.].

    50. Prenatal diagnosis is permitted when the procedure does not threaten the life or physical integrity of the unborn child or the mother and does not subject them to disproportionate risks; when the diagnosis can provide information to guide preventative care for the mother or pre- or postnatal care for the child; and when the parents, or at least the mother, give free and informed consent. Prenatal diagnosis is not permitted when undertaken with the intention of aborting an unborn child with a serious defect [Emphasis added.].32


    54. Genetic counseling may be provided in order to promote responsible parenthood and to prepare for the proper treatment and care of children with genetic defects [Emphasis added], in accordance with Catholic moral teaching and the intrinsic rights and obligations of married couples regarding the transmission of life.

    67. Decisions that may lead to serious consequences for the identity or reputation of Catholic health care services, or entail the high risk of scandal, should be made in consultation with the diocesan bishop or his health care liaison.

    71. The possibility of scandal must be considered when applying the principles governing cooperation.45 Cooperation, which in all other respects is morally licit, may need to be refused because of the scandal that might be caused [Emphasis added.]. Scandal can sometimes be avoided by an appropriate explanation of what is in fact being done at the health care facility under Catholic auspices. The diocesan bishop has final responsibility for assessing and addressing issues of scandal, considering not only the circumstances in his local diocese but also the regional and national implications of his decision.
    46

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Drs. Craparo & Smith continue to get referrals from a Catholic facility in the Archdiocese!

As per http://www.che.org/,
  • "CATHOLIC HEALTH EAST (CHE) is a multi-institutional Catholic health system, which is co-sponsored by nine religious congregations and Hope Ministries, a Public Juridic Person within CHE. Based in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, the System provides the means to ensure the continuation of the Catholic identity and operational strength of the sponsors' health ministries, which are located within 11 eastern states from Maine to Florida.

    "The System includes 33 acute care hospitals, five long-term acute care hospitals, 24 freestanding and hospital-based long-term care facilities, 11 assisted-living facilities, four continuing care retirement communities, seven behavioral health and rehabilitation facilities, 39 home health/hospice agencies, and numerous ambulatory and community-based health services. Catholic Health East facilities employ approximately 54,000 full-time employees as partners in ministry."


As per http://www.che.org/regional,
  • "Regional Health Corporations (RHC) is [sic] an entity sponsored by a Regional Community, Religious Congregation or public juridic person and has CHE as its sole member."


Within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Catholic Health East operates Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania, as well as St. Mary Medical Center of Langhorne.

As I have yet to receive a response from St. Mary Medical Center or the Archdiocese, I am unclear as to whether Drs. Frank Craparo & Stephen Smith have truly been disassociated from St. Mary Medical Center. In either case, they remain on the online directory of Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania!



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Why would parish staff be disinterested in the application of the ERDs at a local Catholic hospital?

Rev. William C. Kaufman, Pastor
Church of St. Richard of Chichester
3010 S. 18th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19145

Dear Father Kaufman,

Please see the below email - apparently from one of your parish staff. I am at a loss to understand how any parish staff could possibly be disinterested in the application of the Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services at a local Catholic hospital.

I am assuming that any further correspondence should be sent directly to yourself.

Sincerely,



Thursday, August 18, 2011

Craparo's Back & Smith Never Left!

Dr. Frank Craparo is again being listed on St. Mary's online listing, & Dr. Stephen Smith never left that listing. I do not understand how this is being allowed to happen by St. Mary Medical Center or by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.


  • As per the Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Fifth Edition,

    5. Catholic health care services must adopt these Directives as policy, require adherence to them within the institution as a condition for medical privileges and employment, and provide appropriate instruction regarding the Directives for administration, medical and nursing staff, and other personnel.

    9. Employees of a Catholic health care institution must respect and uphold the religious mission of the institution and adhere to these Directives. They should maintain professional standards and promote the institution’s commitment to human dignity and the common good.

    37. An ethics committee or some alternate form of ethical consultation should be available to assist by advising on particular ethical situations, by offering educational opportunities, and by reviewing and recommending policies. To these ends, there should be appropriate standards for medical ethical consultation within a particular diocese that will respect the diocesan bishop’s pastoral responsibility as well as assist members of ethics committees to be familiar with Catholic medical ethics and, in particular, these Directives.

    45. Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted. Every procedure whose sole immediate effect is the termination of pregnancy before viability is an abortion, which, in its moral context, includes the interval between conception and implantation of the embryo. Catholic health care institutions are not to provide abortion services, even based upon the principle of material cooperation. In this context, Catholic health care institutions need to be concerned about the danger of scandal in any association with abortion providers [Emphasis added.].

    50. Prenatal diagnosis is permitted when the procedure does not threaten the life or physical integrity of the unborn child or the mother and does not subject them to disproportionate risks; when the diagnosis can provide information to guide preventative care for the mother or pre- or postnatal care for the child; and when the parents, or at least the mother, give free and informed consent. Prenatal diagnosis is not permitted when undertaken with the intention of aborting an unborn child with a serious defect [Emphasis added.].32

    54. Genetic counseling may be provided in order to promote responsible parenthood and to prepare for the proper treatment and care of children with genetic defects [Emphasis added], in accordance with Catholic moral teaching and the intrinsic rights and obligations of married couples regarding the transmission of life.

    67. Decisions that may lead to serious consequences for the identity or reputation of Catholic health care services, or entail the high risk of scandal, should be made in consultation with the diocesan bishop or his health care liaison.

    71. The possibility of scandal must be considered when applying the principles governing cooperation.45 Cooperation, which in all other respects is morally licit, may need to be refused because of the scandal that might be caused [Emphasis added.]. Scandal can sometimes be avoided by an appropriate explanation of what is in fact being done at the health care facility under Catholic auspices. The diocesan bishop has final responsibility for assessing and addressing issues of scandal, considering not only the circumstances in his local diocese but also the regional and national implications of his decision.
    46

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Craparo's now off your online list - what about Smith?

So, Dr. Craparo's off your online list, but Dr. Smith remains....

What does this mean? Is it safe to at least assume that St. Mary Medical Center is disassociating itself from Dr. Craparo? You owe the Bucks County community an explanation....Even if Dr. Capraro is gone, St. Mary's has absolutely no business being involved in the pre-natal identification of Down Syndrome or any other disability, unless it is to EXCLUSIVELY help parents prepare for the birth of a child with a disability. As per the current magazine section of the New York Times,
  • "No agency tracks how many reductions [i.e., a Brave New World euphemism for "abortions"] occur in the United States, but those who offer the procedure report that demand for reduction to a singleton...is rising....Many studies show the vast majority of patients abort fetuses after prenatal tests reveal genetic conditions like Down syndrome that are not life-threatening....As with reducing two healthy fetuses to one, the underlying premise is the same: this is not what I want for my life" (The Two Minus One Pregnancy, 8/10/11)


Why does Dr. Craparo's associate from Abington, Dr. Stephen Smith, remain on St. Mary's list? In a widely publicized case, Dr. Stephen Smith was noted by the Huffington Post (& others) to have recommended abortion to a St. Mary's patient.


Why does it remain that I am only able to find one physician from St. Mary Medical Center on an "NFP-Only" physician directory?


As per your web site, "Health Care practitioners at St. Mary Medical Center abide by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services while providing care at any of the St. Mary Medical Center campuses. Many of these practitioners also provide services outside of St. Mary Medical Center where there is no institutional obligation to practice under the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Patients are encouraged to continue to engage in a dialogue with these practitioners to express their religious and ethical choices regarding their treatment outside of St. Mary Medical Center." To claim to be following the ERDs, yet to allow priveleges to those who are well known to NOT adhere to Catholic medical ethics, strikes me as highly disingenuous.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sr. Marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA
Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB
Sr. Mary Persico, IHM
Sr. Susan Hadzima, IHM
Sr. Mary Genino, RSHM
Sr. Nancy Conway, CSJ
Sr. Debra M. Sciano, SSND
Sr. Josephine Gaugier, OP
Sr. Kathleen Nolan, OP
Sr. Corinne Weiss, SJ
Sr. Adrian Dover, OP
Sr. Rose Mary Dowling, FSM
Sr. Mary Martens, BVM
Sr. Beatrice Haines, OLVM
Sr. Joan Saalfeld, SNJM
Sr. Jo'Ann De Quattro, SNJM
Sr. Sharon Simon, OP
Sr. Maryann A. McMahon, OP
Sr. Agnes Johnson, OP
Sr. Pat Mulcahey, OP
Sr. Pam Chiesa, PBVM
Sr. Patricia Anne Cloherty, PBVM
Sr. Gloria Inés Loya, Sisters of the Presentation
Sr. Gloria Marie Jones, OP
Sr. Mary Litell, Sisters of St. Francis of Penance & Christian Charity
Sr. Theresa Sandok, OSM
Sr. Claire Graham, SSS
Sr. Margaret Byrne CSJP
Sr. Teresa Donohue CSJP
Sr. Carmelita Latiolais, S.E.C.
Sr. Joan Mumaw, IHM
Sr. Clare of Assisi Pierre, SSF
Sr. Marla Monahan, SND
Sr. Vivien Linkhauer, SC
Sr. Dolores Maguire
Sr. Mary Elizabeth Schweiger, OSB
Sr. Suellen Tennyson, MSC
Sr. Barbara Hagedorn, SC
Sr. Francine Schwarzenberger, OP
Sr. Maureen McCarthy, School Sisters of St. Francis
Sr. Eileen C. Reid, RJM
Sr. Cecilia Dwyer, O.S.B.
Sr. Joann Sambs, CSA
Sr. Mary Kuhlman, Sisters of St. Francis
Sr. Helen McDonald, SHCJ
Sr. Jane Blabolil, SSJ-TOSF
Sr. Michelle Wronkowski, SSJ-TOSF
Sr. Dorothy Pagosa, SSJ-TOSF
Sr. Linda Szocik, SSJ-TOSF
Sr. Gladys Guenther SHF
Sr. Dorothy Maxwell, Sisters of St. Dominic Blauvelt
Sr. Sheral Marshall, OSF
Sr. Marilyn Kerber, SNDdeN
Sr. Michele Harnett, SSL
Sr. Ruth Goodwin, OSF Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
Sr. Joanne Buckman, OSU

Dear Sisters,

On March 17, 2010, you asked members of Congress to give a "'yes' vote when the Senate health care bill (H.R. 3590) comes to the floor of the House....despite false claims to the contrary, the Senate bill will not provide taxpayer funding for elective abortions. It will uphold longstanding conscience protections....We urge you to vote 'yes' for life by voting yes for health care reform in H.R. 3590." Sisters, your assessment was inaccurate, and your support was misplaced.

Sisters, the so-called "'preventive services' mandate [would include]...drugs which can attack a developing unborn child before and after implantation in the mother’s womb" (USCCB press release, 8/1/11). No Orwellian playing with words can change the truth of that being abortion. The mandate would violate the conscience rights of Catholics and others with moral objections to paying for such poisons. As per Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, "Although this new rule gives the agency the discretion to authorize a 'religious' exemption, it is so narrow as to exclude most Catholic social service agencies and healthcare providers."

Sisters, it is likely that you are not directly familiar with the struggles of lay Catholic health care workers, who are not professed members of relgious communities. The lack of true conscience protections, in the legislation which you advocated, places faithful Catholic health care workers in grave jeopardy. I suspect that few of you have ever had to deal with issues of employment security, when there are young children to feed or mortgages/rent to be paid.

Sisters, it was 70 years ago today that Maximilian Kolbe went to his death, so that the dad of three children would be spared. As a matter of justice, I urge you to keep lay Catholic health care workers in mind - especially those with families - and support the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (H.R. 1179 & S. 1467). Please add your name to We need HR 1179 immediately, because 'pregnancy is not a disease, & children are not a "health problem"'; this petition which will go to Health & Human Services, Congress, & the President.

Sincerely,

Saturday, August 13, 2011

"we in America should be big enough to try to surround ourselves and help women in those terrible situations who have been traumatized"

On a national stage this past Thursday evening, a Catholic lay person defended the sanctity of human life with a missionary zeal that would have made Saint Thomas More proud:
  • "the Supreme Court of the United States on a recent case said that a man who committed rape could not be killed, could not be subject to the death penalty, yet the child conceived as a result of that rape could be. That to me sounds like a country that doesn’t have its morals correct. That child did nothing wrong. That child is a, is [interrupted by applause]....That child is an innocent victim. To be victimized twice would be a horrible thing. It is an innocent human life. It is genetically human from the moment of conception, and it is a human life, and we in America should be big enough to try to surround ourselves and help women in those terrible situations who have been traumatized already. To put them through another trauma of abortion. I think it’s too much to ask and so I would absolutely stand and say that one violence is enough" (Rick Santorum, Iowa GOP Debate, 8/11/11).

"any argument in favor of exemption...may be substantially undermined by the fact that the Catholic hospital is already...involved"

As eloquently stated on August 1st by Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, chair of the USCCB's pro life committee,



  • "The Administration’s failure to create a meaningful conscience exemption to the preventive services mandate underscores the need for Congress to approve the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act....That bill (H.R. 1179)...would prevent mandates under the new health reform law from undermining rights of conscience....HHS says the intent of its 'preventive services' mandate is to help 'stop health problems before they start',....But pregnancy is not a disease, and children are not a 'health problem' – they are the next generation of Americans" (S. 1467 is the companion bill in the U.S. Senate.).

Personally I found the August 2nd statement on this matter from Sr. Carol Keehan, DC of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHAUSA) to be disturbingly weak:


  • "The Catholic Health Association is both pleased and concerned by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services' (HHS) recent actions on preventive services for women....

  • "CHA is very concerned about the inadequacy of the conscience protections with respect to the coverage of contraception. As it stands, the language is not broad enough to protect our Catholic health providers. Catholic hospitals are a significant part of this nation's health care, especially in the care of the most vulnerable. It is critical that we be allowed to serve our nation without compromising our conscience....

  • "We appreciate that the Administration does not intend to include abortifacient drugs as covered contraception [Excuse me Sister, how did you get that idea?]. Our comments will address our concerns about the mechanism of action of certain FDA-approved contraceptive drugs."

While claiming adherance to the USCCB's Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (5th ed.), much appears to be going on at CHAUSA-affiliated facilities, which has heretofore been falling under the radar. For example,


  • On August 4th, there was an organized protest over the employment of an acknowledged abortionist at the Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, Colorado. "'We’re sending a clear message to the rest of the country that you cannot call yourself a Catholic Hospital while opening your doors to outspoken enemies of the Church, like a proud Planned Parenthood abortionist,” said LifeGuard Executive Director Dan Anguis in an interview with LifeSiteNews.com'" (LifeSiteNews.com, 8/10/11).

  • On August 11th, it was reported that an Alaskan abortionist has space on the grounds of Providence Hospital in Anchorage, which "'....degrades the Catholic identity of the hospital'" (LifeSiteNews.com, 8/11/11).

  • Archbishop Chaput's 10/16/09 words of caution to the Phoenix Catholic Physicians Guild are an absolute inspiration: "Those of us here tonight will already know that Down syndrome is not a disease. It's a genetic disorder with a variety of symptoms. Therapy can ease the burden of those symptoms, but Down syndrome is permanent....Prenatal testing can now detect up to 95 percent of pregnancies with a strong risk of Down syndrome....Studies show that more than 80 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome now get terminated in the womb....Catholic doctors who take God seriously cannot do procedures, prescribe drugs or support health policies that attack the sanctity of unborn children or the elderly; or that undermine the dignity of human sexuality and the family. God will demand an accounting. And Catholic citizens who take God seriously cannot claim to love their Church, and then ignore her counsel on vital public issues that shape our nation's life. God will demand an accounting....Be the best doctors, nurses and medical professionals you can be. Your skill gives glory to God. But be the best Catholics you can be first. Pour your love for Jesus Christ into the healing you do for every person you serve."

    On August 12th, a posting on the web site of St. Mary Medical Center (Langhorne, Pennsylvania) was called to my attention:

    "The Perinatology Department...has added fetal nasal bone imaging, a new noninvasive genetic screening technique, to its outpatient prenatal testing program for pregnant women. Fetal nasal bone imaging is performed by high-resolution ultrasound early in the first trimester to identify risk factors for Down syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects one in every 733 babies in the United States....

    "'When the results are analyzed together, nasal bone imaging, nuchal translucency, and maternal blood screening identify markers for Down syndrome with up to 95 percent accuracy and a 2 percent false-positive rate. St. Mary is one of the first medical centers in the Philadelphia region to offer all three screening techniques,' notes Frank Craparo, MD, a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine and management of high-risk pregnancies....

    "'With so many women starting their families later in life, it is important for both the mother’s and the baby’s health to test for Down syndrome. There are a wealth of helpful resources and support groups for families with special-needs children, and knowing your baby’s risk can help you prepare for the rest of your pregnancy, delivery, and beyond,' says Dr. Craparo."

    When the pre-natal identification of Down Syndrome leads more often than not to abortion, one wonders why St Mary Medical Center would be enthusiastically involved - unless it were EXCLUSIVELY to help parents prepare for the birth of their child with a disability. Yet, it was suggested to me that I google "Craparo" and "Selective Reduction" and that I would find find blogs from pregnant women who had gone to Dr. Frank Craparo for abortions.

    You know what? That's exactly what I found


If these sorts of things are happening on the grounds of Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango, Providence Hospital in Anchorage, and St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, how can faithful Catholic health care workers in secular settings hope for ANY legal protection for standing up for life? Diagnosis Critical: The Urgent Threats Confronting Catholic Healthcare warned of ramifications from the failure of some Catholic hospitals to comply with the ERDs:


  • "compliance with the ERDs has been uneven when it comes to contraception and sterilization. Typically, obstetrician-gynecologists practicing in Catholic hospitals and physician office buildings owned by Catholic hospitals provide prescriptions for contraceptives to their patients" (p. 53).

  • [Some Catholic] "systems have entered into arrangements to provide services such as direct sterilizations and abortion referrals....The existence of such arrangements increases the risk of scandal and could embolden those who favor a mandate requiring all hospitals...to provide a full range of [so-called] reproductive services" (p. 102).

  • "any argument in favor of exemption from laws requiring a hospital to provide these services may be substantially undermined by the fact that the Catholic hospital is already, in some fashion, involved in either providing those services - as in the case of sterilizations - or involved in partnerships with entities providing such services" (p. 137).

In the powerful and provocative words of Archbishop Chaput, Catholics "can be disciples and missionaries, or we can be apostates; but there's no room for anything else."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

S 1467 - the senate companion bill to HR 1179

On August 2, Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri introduced S . 1467 in the U.S. Senate. As reported by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, "the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act was introduced in the House of Representatives (H.R. 1179), and a companion bill was introduced in the U.S. Senate (S. 1467)."

If you have not done so already, please also consider adding your name to the "We need HR 1179 immediately, because 'pregnancy is not a disease, & children are not a "health problem"'" petition, which will go to Health & Human Services, Congress, & the President.


Monday, August 8, 2011

We need HR 1179 immediately, because “pregnancy is not a disease, & children are not a ‘health problem’"

Dear Monsignors & Fathers,

As per Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, chair of the USCCB's pro life committee,



  • "The Administration’s failure to create a meaningful conscience exemption to the preventive services mandate underscores the need for Congress to approve the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act....That bill (H.R. 1179)...would prevent mandates under the new health reform law from undermining rights of conscience....HHS says the intent of its 'preventive services' mandate is to help 'stop health problems before they start,'....But pregnancy is not a disease, and children are not a 'health problem' – they are the next generation of Americans.'

Please alert your parishioners to the "We need HR 1179 immediately, because “pregnancy is not a disease, & children are not a ‘health problem’" petition, which will go to Health & Human Services, Congress, & the President. Please also consider adding your own name to this petition.

Thank you.














Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"New bill could prevent pharmacists from denying contraception prescriptions to customers" (NorthJersey.com, 8/1/11)

As reported by Misha Patel,


  • "Church officials and birth control proponents are at odds regarding new legislation that could prevent pharmacy employees from denying the sale of contraceptives because of their religious beliefs. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., introduced the Access to Birth Control Act on Tuesday, in response to a report from the Institute of Medicine that recommended that birth control be made available without copayment for health reasons....The issue of pharmacies refusing to fill prescriptions for contraceptives came to light in 1996, when a pharmacist was fired from a Cincinnati Kmart after refusing to fill a prescription due to her own religious beliefs. Refusals have been documented in 19 other circumstances in several states, including Texas, Wisconsin and Massachusetts. Although New Jersey is one of seven states since 2006 that has explicitly required pharmacists or pharmacies to ensure that valid prescriptions are filled, Lautenberg and Maloney are attempting to make it federal law" (NorthJersey.com, 8/1/11).

The above quote deserves to be read slowly and carefully. Since 1996, Ms. Patel seems to indicate that there have been (ONLY) 19 documented refusals to fill prescriptions for abortifacients/contraceptives in the United States! This would seem to be consistent with the fact that only a handful of pharmacies in the country are known to refuse to fill prescriptions for abortifacients and contraceptives! In the metropolitan Philadelphia and New Jersey areas, only St. Clare's Pharmacy of Langhorne, Pa is known to NOT fill prescriptions for abortifacients/contraceptives.


U.S. Representative Maloney and U.S. Senator Lautenburg are declaring war on pharmacists of conscience. I believe that our credibility to stand in solidarity with pharmacists of conscience is impeded by parish bulletins which include ads for providers of abortifacients/contraceptives. Congresswoman Maloney does not want a "single pharmacist" to be able to refuse to fill an abortifacient/contraceptive prescription; the following appears on her web site:



  • "WASHINGTON, DC – Following the release of an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report recommending that birth control be made available without copays because of its importance for women’s preventive health care, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg introduced legislation to protect a woman’s fundamental right of access to legal contraception. The Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act would prevent pharmacies from denying the sale of contraceptives because of a pharmacy employee’s religious beliefs.

    "'This legislation would prevent a pharmacy from interfering in the personal medical decisions made by a patient and her doctor,' Sen. Lautenberg said. 'Birth control is basic health care for women, and the recent Institute of Medicine recommendations highlight its importance to women’s preventive care. By guaranteeing access to birth control, we can ensure that women are never denied the right to make responsible decisions about their reproductive health.'

    "'Almost 100% of women in the US will use contraception at some point in their lives-- yet there are widespread, alarming reports that some pharmacists refuse to fill legitimate birth control prescriptions. This bill would place the decisionmaking squarely where it belongs: between a woman and her doctor,' Rep. Maloney said. 'That the Institute of Medicine has declared that health coverage should include FDA-approved birth control with zero co-pays under the Affordable Care Act brings new urgency to this issue. Including contraception under health care coverage is moot if a single pharmacist can thwart such coverage.'

    "'Americans are fortunate to have strong leaders like Rep. Maloney and Sen. Lautenberg who believe in guaranteeing women's access to contraception. We are proud to work with them to advance this bill and other policies that make a positive difference in the lives of women and their families,' said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. 'This legislation comes as medical experts are recommending that contraception be covered by insurance plans in the new health-care system so that women can obtain birth control without a copay. The ABC Act would ensure that pharmacies fill women’s prescriptions without delay or harassment.'

    "'Birth control is basic health care for women. Women should be able to walk into any pharmacy, anywhere in the country, and get birth control, including emergency contraception, without discrimination or delay,' said Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. 'We applaud Senator Lautenberg and Representative Maloney for introducing this common sense bill to help ensure women have access to birth control.'

    "Last week, the IOM released its recommendations for preventive services that women should get for free, with no copays, as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Birth control was among the services recommended by the IOM as essential for women's preventive health care. The IOM report was commissioned by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as it determines what should be covered under the new health care reform law being implemented.

    "According to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, 99 percent of women in the United States use contraception at some point in their lives, and 82 percent of women use prescription methods. Despite this, women in at least 24 states across the country have reported incidents in recent years where they have been denied access to birth control and emergency contraception.

    "The Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act strikes a balance between the rights of individual pharmacists who might have personal objections to contraception and the rights of women to receive their medication. The bill protects the right of individual pharmacists to refuse to fill a prescription, but also ensures that pharmacies will fill all prescriptions, even if a different pharmacist has to do it. In addition, if the requested product is not in stock, but the pharmacy stocks other forms of contraception, the bill mandates that the pharmacy help the woman obtain the medication without delay by the method of her preference: order, referral, or a transferred prescription.

    "The bill is supported by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), Jewish Women International, National Organization for Women, NARAL Pro-Choice America, National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association, National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, National Women’s Law Center, National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health (PRCH), Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Population Connection, Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Reproductive Health Technologies Project, Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. (SIECUS), and Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations (UUA)."

Will You Defend the Rights of Conscience? Yes or No?

Dear Senator Casey, Representative Fitzpatrick, and Senator Toomey,


Citing a 7/22/11 letter to Congress from Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, I recently requested that Representative Fitzpatrick support and co-sponsor the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR 1179); I requested that Senator Casey and Senator Toomey introduce legislation in the Senate, comparable to HR 1179. Those requests were in anticipation of Health and Human Services'


  • so-called "'preventive services' mandate requiring private health plans to cover female surgical sterilization and all drugs and devices approved by the FDA as contraceptives, including drugs which can attack a developing unborn child before and after implantation in the mother’s womb" (USCCB press release, 8/1/11).
Preventative services! Fertility and pregnancy are not diseases! This mandate will violate the conscience rights of Catholics and others with moral objections to paying for such poisons. As per Cardinal DiNardo,


  • "Although this new rule gives the agency the discretion to authorize a 'religious' exemption, it is so narrow as to exclude most Catholic social service agencies and healthcare providers....For example, under the new rule our institutions would be free to act in accord with Catholic teaching on life and procreation only if they were to stop hiring and serving non-Catholics....Could the federal government possibly intend to pressure Catholic institutions to cease providing health care, education and charitable services to the general public? Health care reform should expand access to basic health care for all, not undermine that goal....

  • "Catholics are not alone in conscientiously objecting to this mandate. The drugs that Americans would be forced to subsidize under the new rule include Ella, which was approved by the FDA as an ‘emergency contraceptive’ but can act like the abortion drug RU-486. It can abort an established pregnancy weeks after conception. The pro-life majority of Americans – Catholics and others – would be outraged to learn that their premiums must be used for this purpose.

  • "HHS says the intent of its 'preventive services' mandate is to help 'stop health problems before they start'....But pregnancy is not a disease, and children are not a 'health problem' – they are the next generation of Americans. It’s now more vital than ever that Congress pass the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act"

In addtion to the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act (HR 1179), I have also requested that Representative Fitzpatrick support and co-sponsor

I requested that Senator Casey and Senator Toomey support and co-sponsor

I have received no replies to my correspondences. Gentlemen, each of you ran for office identifying yourself as "Pro Life." It's time to step up to the plate.

The 10 Commandments

The Beatitudes (from "Jesus of Nazareth")

Christifideles Laici

Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Our representation in D.C....

Click the below image, to check on the status of federal legislation:
Click the below images, to ascertain what pro-life and pro-marriage/family legislation is being sponsored or co-sponsored (as well as what legislation is NOT being sponsored or co-sponsored):
https://www.congress.gov/member/brian-fitzpatrick/F000466?q={%22search%22:[%22brian+fitzpatrick%22]}&r=1

To check U.S. House votes:

To check U.S. Senate votes:

Contacts:

Bucks County in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Bucks County in the Pennsylvania Senate

Contacting Our Governor

717 787 2500 or governor@pa.gov.

Contacting Our Bishops