In Pennsylvania's

Monday, May 27, 2013

Cardinal Dolan's Betrayal?

As reported in today's NY Times by Sharon Otterman,
    "As the nation’s leading Roman Catholic bishop, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York has been spearheading the fight against a provision of the new health care law that requires employers, including some that are religiously affiliated, to cover birth control in employee health plans.

    "But even as Cardinal Dolan insists that requiring some religiously affiliated employers to pay for contraception services would be an unprecedented, and intolerable, government intrusion on religious liberty, the archdiocese he heads has quietly been paying for such coverage, albeit reluctantly and indirectly, for thousands of its unionized employees for over a decade.

    "The Archdiocese of New York has previously acknowledged that some local Catholic institutions offer health insurance plans that include contraceptive drugs to comply with state law; now, it is also acknowledging that the archdiocese’s own money is used to pay for a union health plan that covers contraception and even abortion for workers at its affiliated nursing homes and clinics.... 

    "The archdiocese agreed to cover its own health workers long before Cardinal Dolan became archbishop of New York, and even today insists that it has no choice. As a result, about 3,000 full-time workers at ArchCare, also known as the Catholic Health Care System, receive coverage for contraception and voluntary pregnancy termination through their membership in 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, a powerful health care workers union, according to Dave Bates, a spokesman for the union....

    "In theory, ArchCare could have negotiated independently with the union to avoid providing its 1199 employees — health support staff members ranging from physician assistants to orderlies — abortion and contraception coverage. The archdiocese avoids providing those services for 1,100 other ArchCare employees, for example, by insuring them through a special self-insurance plan that is exempt from the mandate....

    "Religious employers nationally have often grudgingly covered contraception, whether to comply with state health care mandates or because they simply did not realize they were doing so, said Stephen S. Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at the Catholic University of America, in Washington."

Sunday, May 26, 2013

"She is a practising Catholic and partly credits her faith for how she acted."


From across the pond....
    "Counterterrorism police advanced their investigation into the brutal slaying of a British soldier [Lee Rigby] near an army barracks....

    "Witnesses at the scene of Wednesday's attack said two men hacked at Mr. Rigby with large knives in broad daylight. Videos taken by witnesses quickly surfaced of a man with bloodied hands, apparently in the immediate aftermath of the incident, stating antigovernment views in a British accent....

    "Amid the remarkable scene, Ingrid Loyau-Kennet, a former teacher who arrived shortly after the attack, said she found an injured man in the road and a crashed car on the pavement. In an interview..., she said she approached the man but was told not to get too close by another man who was 'excited,' had blood all over him, and was in possession of two large knives and a handgun" (Wall Street Journal, 5/24/13).

    "Around her [Ingrid Loyau-Kennet's] neck, she wears a small gold cross, encrusted with rubies and diamonds. She is a practising Catholic and partly credits her faith for how she acted. 'I live my life as a Christian,' she explains. 'I believe in thinking about others and loving thy neighbour. We all have a duty to look after each other. A whole group of people walking towards those guys would have found it easy to take those weapons out of their hands. But me, on my own, I couldn’t'" (The Telegraph, 5/23/13).

    "Her Catholic values also come through..., when she is asked why she wasn’t scared to confront the murderers. Her answer: 'Better me than a child.'

    "She was concerned because there were mothers with children around, and she was instinctively willing to risk her life for one of the least of these (Matthew 25:40). That is our faith." (Dawn Eden, 5/23/13)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Catholic support for HB 818, HR 1797/S 886, HR 7/S 946, HR 732, HR 23, HR 61, and HR 217

HB 818 

HB 818 is now in the hands of the Pennsylvania Senate and Governor Corbett.  As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,
    "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) specifically allows states to prohibit providers that participate in the insurance marketplace from covering elective abortions. To assure that elective abortion is not included in the federal exchange in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth must affirmatively opt out by passing a state law. House Bill 818 – without amendments- will clearly prohibit the taxpayer supported insurance plans from covering elective abortions. HB 818 does not eliminate coverage of abortions in taxpayer supported plans in the cases of rape, incest or to avert the death of the mother....

    "Voting 'yes' on HB 818 without amendments is the only genuine pro-life vote.  Click here to send a message in support of HB 818 without amendment [https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/25554/Respond].
Of the four state senators from Bucks,
  • only Bob Mensch "bmensch@pasen.gov" receives a very unfavorable rating from pro-abortion Planned Parenthood. Bucks County should be rightfully proud of Bob Mensch! 
  • Pro-abortion Planned Parenthood gives mixed ratings to both Stewart Greenleaf "sgreenleaf@pasen.gov" and Tommy Tomlinson "rtomlinson@pasen.gov." Senators Greenleaf and Tomlinson need strong pro life feedback from Bucks Countians! 
  • Pro-abortion Planned Parenthood sees Senator Chuck McIlhinney "cmcilhinney@pasen.gov" as one of its own! Since McIlhinney identifies himself as a Catholic, this is absolutely scandalous and needs to be made clear as such by ALL of Bucks County's clergy!

HR 1797, S 886

As per a 5/21/13 statement by Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life:
    "This week, Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-08) will hold a press conference on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, announcing that its provisions, to protect children in the womb from 20 weeks of development forward....

    "Priests for Life believes this is the most significant legislative effort to date in bringing protection to unborn children. We have therefore already alerted every parish in America to inform and mobilize its congregation in support of this bill. We are also calling upon pro-life organizations large and small to give it their full support."
Please ask Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (mikefitzpatrickpa08@live.com) to join with 127 of his colleagues as a co-sponsor of HR 1797.  Kudos to Senator Pat Toomey (http://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=contact) for being one of the 32 co-sponsors of the Senate version, S 886.  Please ask Senator Bob Casey (http://www.casey.senate.gov/contact/) to also co-sponsor S 886.

HR 7, S 946

As per Priests for Life, "The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would prohibit the federal funding of abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother."  Please ask Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (mikefitzpatrickpa08@live.com) to join with 120 of his colleagues as a co-sponsor of HR 7.  Please ask Senators Pat Toomey (http://www.toomey.senate.gov/?p=contact) and Bob Casey (http://www.casey.senate.gov/contact/) to join 23 of their colleagues as co-sponsors of S 946 (Note: Casey introduced his own S 142, which appears to this blogger to be a weakened version and which has no co-sponsors.). 

HR 732

As per Priests for Life, "The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA) would make it illegal to take a minor across a state line to evade the requirements of a pre-abortion parental involvement law in the girl’s home state." Please ask Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (mikefitzpatrickpa08@live.com) to join with 123 of his colleagues as a co-sponsor of HR 732.

HR 23

As per Priests for Life, "The Sanctity of Human Life Act would declare that the right to life guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution vests in each human being at 'fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency.'
Further, the measure states that 'the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.'"  Please ask Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (mikefitzpatrickpa08@live.com) to join with 37 of his colleagues as a co-sponsor of HR 23.

HR 61

As per Priests for Life, "HR 61 would require any entity receiving taxpayer funds through the federal Title X family planning program to certify in writing that it will not perform abortions and will not provide funds to any entity that performs abortions. The bill would allow funding to go to organizations that perform abortions only in cases to save the mother’s life or where a pregnancy results from rape or incest.  The measure would deny Planned Parenthood and any other abortion providers a major source of their federal funding."  Kudos to Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (mikefitzpatrickpa08@live.com) for being one of the 91 co-sponsors of HR 61.

HR 217

As per Priests for Life, "HR 217, like HR 61, would require any entity receiving federal funds from the Title X family planning program to certify that it will not perform abortions and will not provide any money to another entity that performs abortions.  The bill would effectively bar Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from participating in the Title X program."  Please ask Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (mikefitzpatrickpa08@live.com) to join with 175 of his colleagues as a co-sponsor of HR 217.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Nestle Boycott by Pro Life Organization

While "Debra Vinnedge" may not be a household name, this remarkable woman was the recipient of a 2005 letter from the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life: Moral Reflections on Vaccines Prepared from Cells Derived from Aborted Human Fetuses.  That letter certainly seems reflected in 2008's Dignitas Personae.  This is mentioned, just to show that Debra Vinnedge is no lightweight!  Neither is the organization which she founded: Children of God For Life: World Leaders of The Campaign For Ethical Vaccines, Medicines and Consumer Products.
    "Children of God for Life is calling on the public to boycott products of major food companies that are partnering with Senomyx, a biotech company that produces artificial flavor enhancers, unless the company stops using aborted fetal cell lines to test their products....

    “'What they do not tell the public is that they are using HEK 293 – human embryonic kidney cells taken from an electively aborted baby...', stated Debi Vinnedge, Executive Director for Children of God for Life, a pro-life watch dog group that has been monitoring the use of aborted fetal material in medical products and cosmetics for years" (3/39/11).

     "At this time Senomyx only has agreements with 4 companies:  Ajinomoto, Firmenich, NestlĂ© and PepsiCo. Two of these, Ajinomoto, Firmenich are not based in the US.  Firmenich does not directly sell a product to the public but rather, sells their flavor enhancers to other companies.   They do not disclose who those companies are or which flavor enhancers they are using so this is of no help to us in our boycott efforts.  Ajinomoto does sell their flavor seasonings in the North American market and these are listed on the new boycott list. 

    "Nestles has products on the market using Senomyx and they continue to collaborate for future products.  The products listed are their coffee creamers and Maggi soup and sauce roducts.  PepsiCo is using Senomyx for future products, however they are NOT using aborted fetal cell lines in the development of those flavor enhancers.   Cadbury Adams ended their agreement in Dec 2011 and they have brought no product to market using Senomyx.  So right now, the target is Nestles.  Should this change in the future we will notify the public immediately.  God bless all of you for your support and effort!" (4/22/13 Update)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Don't Let the Pa State Senate & Gov Corbett Drop the Ball on HB 818!

Whether or not Pennsylvanians will pay for abortions through the Affordable Care Act State is largely in the hands of our state senate and Governor Corbett "governor@pa.gov."As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,
    "HB 818 passed the House in April and it is now the Senate's turn to take up this important legislation. Your senator needs to hear from you today- tell him or her to vote 'yes' on HB 818 with no amendments....

    "Click the link below to log in and send your message:
    https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/pacc/G8f4MQPc.aspx"
Of the four state senators from Bucks, only Bob Mensch "bmensch@pasen.gov" receives a very unfavorable rating from pro-abortion Planned Parenthood.  Bucks County should be rightfully proud of Bob Mensch!

Pro-abortion Planned Parenthood gives mixed ratings to both Stewart Greenleaf  "sgreenleaf@pasen.gov" and Tommy Tomlinson "rtomlinson@pasen.gov."  Senators Greenleaf and Tomlinson need strong pro life feedback from Bucks Countians!

Pro-abortion Planned Parenthood sees Senator Chuck McIlhinney "cmcilhinney@pasen.gov" as one of its own!  Since McIlhinney identifies himself as a Catholic, this is absolutely scandalous and needs to be made clear as such by ALL of Bucks County's clergy! 

As per Pope Francis, no one can "receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged. This responsibility weighs particularly over legislators, heads of governments, and health professionals" (cf, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/letters/2013/index_en.htm).


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Re: Abortion Opt-Out Legislation Coming to a Vote Soon!

Whether or not Pennsylvanians will be paying for abortions through the Affordable Care Act State is largely in the hands of our state senate and Governor Tom Corbett "governor@pa.gov."As per the below message from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference,
    "HB 818 passed the House in April and it is now the Senate's turn to take up this important legislation. Your senator needs to hear from you today- tell him or her to vote 'yes' on HB 818 with no amendments....

    "Click the link below to log in and send your message:
    https://www.votervoice.net/link/target/pacc/G8f4MQPc.aspx"
Of the four senators from Bucks County, only Senator Bob Mensch "bmensch@pasen.gov" receives a very unfavorable rating from pro-abortion Planned Parenthood.  Bucks County should be rightfully proud of this ProLife champion!

 Pro-abortion Planned Parenthood gives mixed ratings to both Senator Stewart Greenleaf  "sgreenleaf@pasen.gov" and to Senator Tommy Tomlinson "rtomlinson@pasen.gov."  Greenleaf and Tomlinson need strong pro life feedback from Bucks Countians!

Pro-abortion Planned Parenthood sees Senator Chuck McIlhinney "cmcilhinney@pasen.gov" as one of its own!  Considering that McIlhinney identifies himself as a Catholic, this is absolutely scandalous and needs to be made clear as such by ALL of Bucks County's clergy.  As per Pope Francis, no one can "receive Holy Communion and at the same time act with deeds or words against the commandments, particularly when abortion, euthanasia, and other grave crimes against life and family are encouraged. This responsibility weighs particularly over legislators, heads of governments, and health professionals" (cf, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/francesco/letters/2013/index_en.htm).



Saturday, May 11, 2013

The World Trade Center spire

The photo on the left is from 5/3/13, while the photo on the right is from a newspaper of the same day:

From the morning of 5/10/13 (7AMish):

From the evening of 5/10/13 (7PMish)
 The spire is in place!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

re: Urgent Alert: Senate Could Vote Soon on Bill to Stop Tax Funding of Abortion

Completing basic info on a special Pennsylvania Catholic Conference web page (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/25554/Respond) will send the following message to your state senator and Governor Corbett:
    "Please pass House Bill 818, which would prohibit insurance providers that participate in the insurance exchanges created by the federal health care reform law from covering elective abortion services.

    "Currently no tax dollars are used for elective abortions anywhere in Pennsylvania. HB 818 guarantees that the taxpayer supported plans in the federal government's new health insurance exchange are in line with this long-standing policy.

    "HB 818 passed the House on April 23. It is now the Senate's turn to take up this important legislation.

    "Please represent me by passing HB 818 without amendment!"
State senators from Bucks County can also be contacted at "sgreenleaf@pasen.gov" , "cmcilhinney@pasen.gov" , "bmensch@pasen.gov" , and "rtomlinson@pasen.gov."  the governor can also be contacted at "governor@pa.gov."

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pa Catholic Conf: "Past and Present Pro-Life Legislation in Pennsylvania"

This below summary is from the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference.  While it sets a hopeful tone, we MUST be absolutely vigilant to prevent public funding of abortion through Obamacare.  Click here (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/25554/Respond) to tell your state senator and the governor to pass/sign HB 818 (We certainly also need initiatives against the easy availability of so-called "contraceptives", which can act as abortifacients!).

On a federal level, we need passage of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940).  Click here (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/30694/Respond) to send a message to President Obama, V.P. Biden, Sen. Casey, Sen Toomey, and Congressman Fitzpatrick (Special kudos should go to Congressman Fitzpatrick, who is a co-sponsor of HR 940!)....

    Past and Present Pro-Life Legislation in Pennsylvania

    AllIssuesLADPro-life advocacy is a priority for PCC staff in each legislative session. The 2013-2014 session is no different, with staff and advocates working to keep taxpayer funded abortions out of the federal health care exchanges to be set up in Pennsylvania. Advocates, including you, can easily send a message to legislators by clicking here. For the first time in decades, the prospect of execution is imminent, with several prisoners exhausting their appeals in recent and coming months. You can send a message about that issue here. These are just two examples of the respect for life debate in Pennsylvania.

    The roots of Pennsylvania’s pro-life laws are found in the Abortion Control Act. The PCC was instrumental in the passage of the Abortion Control Act in 1982 and its subsequent amendments. The law was ultimately upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1994 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

    To see how Pennsylvania compares to other states, we can look to the state-by-state analysis produced by Americans United for Life (AUL), which ranks each state on its protection of life policies. This year Pennsylvania is again ranked #3 on the list. liftbaby

    It is clear that, to be truly a Commonwealth of citizens that protect life from conception to natural death, Pennsylvania must continue to be a leader in passing legislation that shows respect for the human person. Imagine the voices of Pennsylvania’s 3 million Catholics speaking together in support of pro-life issues! Send a message to your legislator in support of pro life legislation today.

    Summary of Pennsylvania’s Pro-Life Laws:

    The successes in Pennsylvania to protect life and conscience (some of which are listed in the AUL report) are listed below.

    Current Abortion Regulations in PA:
    • Informed consent requirements
    • Mandated 24-hour reflection period prior to an abortion
    • Parental consent required for a minor seeking an abortion or, in the absence thereof, a court order allowing the abortion to proceed
    • Abortion providers are required to state in their printed materials that it is illegal for someone to coerce a woman into having an abortion
    • Medicaid funds cannot be used for abortion unless to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest
    • No public funding or public facilities may be used for abortion unless abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest
    • No health plan for state employees shall include coverage for abortion unless abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest
    • No public funds for legal services or IOLTA (legal aid fund) funds may be used to advocate for abortion rights
    • Programs receiving funds through the Department of Welfare, women’s services programs may not promote, refer for, or perform abortions or engage in any counseling to encourage abortion, and physical and financial separation from abortion services is required.
    • Pennsylvania prohibits the use of family planning funds for abortion-related activities, and requires family planning services providers and subcontractors to keep a state-funded family planning project physically and financially separate from abortion-related activities, with exceptions for abortion in the case life endangerment, rape or incest.
    • Abortion clinics must meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers (Act 122 enacted on December 22, 2011 following the Grand Jury Report concerning the Gosnell clinic in Philadelphia).
    • Only physicians or doctors of osteopathy licensed to practice medicine in PA are allowed to perform abortions.  Abortion providers must maintain hospital admitting privileges at Pennsylvania hospitals or have in place a written transfer agreement with a hospital which has emergency and surgical services available.
    • Pennsylvania has allocated millions of dollars to pregnancy care centers and other abortion alternative programs. Entities receiving the funds cannot perform abortions or provide abortion counseling.
    • Pa offers “Choose Life” license plates, the proceeds of which are used to fund adoption and abortion alternatives programs.
    • Pennsylvania also requires any insurance providers offering health care or disability insurance within the state to offer policies that do not cover abortion except when necessary to save the life of the mother or when the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Insurance providers may offer policies which do not cover abortions at all.
    • The state has an enforceable abortion reporting law.  The measure pertains to both surgical and nonsurgical abortions and requires abortion providers to report short-term complications.

    Legal Recognition of Unborn and Newly Born:
    • Under Pennsylvania criminal law, the killing of an unborn child at any stage of gestation is defined as homicide.
    • Pennsylvania defines a nonfatal assault on an unborn child as a criminal offense.
    • The state allows wrongful death (civil) actions when a viable unborn child is killed through a negligent or criminal act.
    • The state has created a specific affirmative duty for physicians to provide medical care and treatment to born-alive infants at any stage of development.
    • Pennsylvania funds drug treatment programs for pregnant women and newborns.
    • Pennsylvania law provides for “fetal death registrations.”
    • Pennsylvania law provides for certificates of birth for stillborn babies.

    Bioethics Laws:
    • Pennsylvania does not ban or regulate human cloning, but it does prohibit destructive embryo research performed in Pennsylvania.  It does not however prohibit embryonic stem cell research where the cells are extracted in another jurisdiction.
    • Pennsylvania prohibits experimentations on a live human baby, but allows experimentation on a dead baby with consent of the mother.
    • A healthcare provider providing services to a pregnant woman must advise her of the option to donate umbilical cord blood following delivery, and all healthcare facilities and providers must permit the woman to arrange for an umbilical cord donation.
    • Pennsylvania requires quarterly reports of assisted reproductive technologies data, including number of eggs fertilized, destroyed, or discarded, and the number of women implanted.

    End of Life Laws:
    • In Pennsylvania, assisting a suicide is a felony.
    • Pennsylvania’s Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney Law specifically states that it does not “condone, authorize or approve of mercy killing, euthanasia or aided suicide.”
    a)      An employee or staff member of a health care provider may not be required to participate in the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.
    b)     In the case of an incompetent pregnant woman who has an end stage medical condition or who is permanently unconscious,  life sustaining treatment, nutrition and hydration shall be provided notwithstanding the existence of a living will, a health care decision by a health care representative or health care agent or any other direction to the contrary, unless such treatment will not maintain the pregnant woman in such a way to permit the continuing development or live birth of the unborn child or if such treatment will cause her harm or pain that cannot be alleviated by medication

    Healthcare Rights of Conscience Laws:
    Note: This is a list of laws at the state level. At the national level, the contraceptive mandate imposed on health plans by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) violates freedom of conscience, which is guaranteed by the First Amendment and several federal laws. Send a message in support of conscience here.

    Participation in Abortion
    • If an objection is made in writing and is based on religious, moral, or professional grounds, a physician, nurse, staff member, or other employee of a hospital or healthcare facility is not required to participate in abortions and cannot be held liable for refusing to participate.  Medical and nursing students are also protected.
    • Except for facilities that perform abortions exclusively, each facility that performs abortions must prominently post a notice of the right not to participate in abortions.
    • A private hospital or healthcare facility is not required to perform abortions and may not be held liable for this refusal.
    • Pennsylvania also protects healthcare providers who object to providing abortion-inducing drugs.

    Health Care
    • Pennsylvania’s Managed Care Law provides that “a managed care plan shall not exclude, discriminate against or penalize any health care provider for its refusal to allow, perform, participate in or refer for health care services when the refusal of the health care provider is based on moral or religious grounds and that provider makes adequate information available to enrollees or, if applicable, prospective enrollees.”

    Conscience Protection
    • The Pennsylvania Religious Freedom Restoration Act specifically provides that “Nothing in this Act shall be construed to require a religiously affiliated health care facility to provide, allow, participate in or refer for health care services which are contrary to the religious beliefs or practices of the facility, provided that the facility shall provide notice to its patients of its policies regarding those health care services.”

    Participation in Research Harmful to Human Life
    • Pennsylvania currently provides no protection for the rights of healthcare providers who conscientiously object to participation in immoral medical research.

     Send a message to your legislator in support of pro life legislation today.

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