NB: abortion is NOT “health care”… repeat…

CNA reports:

In face of Planned Parenthood attack, USCCB official insists abortion is not health care

Washington D.C., Aug 20, 2009 / 06:19 am (CNA).- Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, has criticized the U.S. Catholic bishops’ work to exclude abortion coverage from health care legislation. [This coming from an organization originally intended to kill off black people.  What does Planned Eugenics think Catholic bishops are going to say about abortion?  Or… have bishops been passive for so long that people like this Richards are now shocked – shocked! – when bishops speak out against her source of income?]  In response, an official with the conference insisted that taking human life is not health care and warned that pro-abortion politics are endangering the entire proposal.

Writing in an August 18 opinion piece at the [wait for it] Huffington Post, Cecile Richards characterized the bishops’ desire to exclude abortion coverage from health care reform as one that denies “comprehensive reproductive care” which she claimed to be supported by the majority of Americans.  [Two things. Intention killing of the innocent might be many things, but it isn’t care.  And just because the majority of people want it, that doesn’t mean it is right.]

She also argued that the Catholic position was an ongoing effort to eliminate the “legally protected right to abortion” from American health care[NO!  Really?  Say it isn’t so!]

Citing the website of the USCCB, Richards criticized the Catholic bishops for holding that condoms can worsen the AIDS pandemic in Africa, that contraception is not basic health care and should not be covered under most health care plans, [This is a red herring.  Contraception is not abortion.  However, some people think that what are truly abortifacients are actually contraceptives.  In other words, they consistently mislabel abortifacients as "contraceptives".  Read on…] and that “emergency contraception” [read: abortifacients] will not reduce the need for abortion or unintended pregnancy.

“Seems that, if the U.S. Conference had its way, the national health care system would make American women second-class citizens and deny them access to benefits they currently have,” she charged. [When abortion became a dimension of "women’s rights" or "the feminist movement", it was game over for reason.  There is no longer much possibility of have a reasonable discussion with people steeped in those categories.]

In Richards’ view, the bishops’ pro-life stand constituted “hard-line opposition to women’s rights” and has endangered women around the globe. [Lemme get this straight.  The head of an organization founded to kill black people and whose main reason to exist is to cause as many abortions as possible – for the sake of profit – thinks that the Catholic Church is against women.]

She said the root cause of “unsafe abortion” [safe… forrrrr…. the baby?] is unintended pregnancy which could be prevented by affordable contraception for women. She also claimed the correlation between higher contraceptive use and lower maternal mortality is “well established.” [Again, the stats do not address the moral issues.]

Richards argued that increased access to contraception would lower the abortion rate [yah… because that is what Planned Eugenics wants… fewer abortions.  Riiiiight.  So does the Obama Administration, btw.  That is why they aggressively seek to expand abortion to every corner of the globe.] and the “epidemic” rates of sexually transmitted infections. She then stated that she would welcome the bishops’ commitment to focus on such problems, insisting that to do so would stand on the side of women in health care reform.

Speaking to CNA on Wednesday morning, Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the USSCB’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, addressed Cecile Richard’s claims.

Doerflinger said Richards erred in claiming most Americans favored “comprehensive reproductive health care.”

“This is not supported by majority of Americans. The majority of Americans describe themselves as pro-life.

We don’t see the taking of human life, at any stage, as health care at all. Most Americans do not want to pay for abortions,” he remarked.

“We mean by universal coverage what everybody but Planned Parenthood means. That is, we need to cover all the people. We know that people need health care throughout life from conception to natural death. That is why fetology is a branch of human medicine, which Richards seem unaware of,” Doerflinger said.

Universal coverage doesn’t mean that Americans are forced to pay for absolutely everything a doctor might be willing to do,” he continued, adding that health care would presumably not pay for euthanasia or legitimate but elective procedures like cosmetic surgery.

Doerflinger explained to CNA that in his understanding of the current health care legislation, a U.S. House bill would cover abortion in the public health insurance plan. The legislation itself would provide coverage for abortions in a “very limited” way, but  [get this]  the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services will have the power to mandate coverage for all abortions in the public plan.

“We’re very much against that and hope it can be amended out,” he added. Under the House bill, the federal government will require anyone who purchases the plan to purchase abortion coverage,” he said.

The Senate presents a “more fluid situation” because there is no released draft.

“We hope it will be better than the House bill,” Doerflinger stated.

Asked to respond to Richards’ criticisms of U.S. bishops’ actions on condoms and the AIDS pandemic, he replied:

The Catholic Church has done more to fight AIDS in Africa than Planned Parenthood has. Planned Parenthood doesn’t want people to know that hormonal contraception has actually been associated with an increased risk of contracting AIDS. It has nothing to do with preventing AIDS, something to do with making it worse.

“Our major arguments on this have not been about contraception,” he clarified. “She likes to change the subject.

“But it is the case that there is a great deal of evidence that contraceptive programs fail to reduce abortions. We cite the primary sources for that on our website so that people can read them for themselves.”

On emergency contraception, Doerflinger said there have been 23 major studies of the effects of emergency contraceptives.

“None of the 23 was able to find any effect in reducing abortions,” he reported, saying these facts had been reviewed by scientists unopposed to emergency contraception.

He said it was necessary to stop “running away from the facts” and “citing contraception as the cure for everything” when the evidence is otherwise.

Doerflinger said the bishops’ materials about health care reform have been centered on supporting universal coverage, but opposing mandated abortion coverage.

“She keeps talking about how we’re trying to diminish a right,” he said of Richards. “A mandate is not consistent with a personal choice. If what she’s talking about is people’s personal ability to choose whether or not to buy abortion coverage, we’re not going to oppose legislation that allows that.

We’re talking about the government mandating that people purchase abortion coverage against their will. Why would she be against that if she favors ‘choice’? [Becauuuuuse, she gets her pay check from abortions?]

“To get into the government-run health plan you must buy abortion coverage. That’s contrary to personal choice. Maybe she should be joining us in our effort.”

“We think the abortion issue is paramount, because we see it as really the taking of a life in existence.”

Doerflinger then summed up his objections to Planned Parenthood’s position:

I think what Planned Parenthood is saying is that millions of people must continue to go without basic health care unless they can get their wish list of making everyone pay for abortions. I think that the charge of being ‘single issue’ falls squarely back on Planned Parenthood’s side, because this is not the kind of health care that most Americans want to purchase or have to pay for.

“This issue could bring down health care reform. We hope that that does not happen, but an insistence on this one issue on their part might do so.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Emanations from Penumbras, SESSIUNCULA. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. AndyMo says:

    Aren’t the usual Catholic Democrat shills out claiming that the health care bill won’t fund abortions?

    It seems Planned Parenthood disagrees with them. Who are you going to believe on this issue?

  2. TJM says:

    I’ll send a $1,000 to the first US bishop who excommunicates a “Catholic” Congressmen who votes for this measure. But, I’m not holding my breath. Tom

  3. Mrs doyle says:

    I love it when the pro-abortionists argue that they stand ‘for’ women and that Church teaching in these areas ‘harms’ women.

    Oh really?

    Tell me how, if I live my life according to Planned Parenthood (and Marie Stopes etc…) my life would be better (physically, emotionally and spiritually) than if I lived authentically by the Church’s teachings.

  4. JohnE says:

    “comprehensive reproductive care”

    It appears to me that Cecile Richards is a victim of her version of “comprehensive mental health care”.

  5. quovadis7 says:

    Fr. Z,

    In your red comments you said “This is a red herring. Contraception is not abortion.”

    You are flat-out *WRONG* in making that statement, [you are flat out WRONG in saying that what I wrote was wrong. Read it again. I said that people make the mistaken of thinking that some things which are in truth abortifacients are actually contraceptives. Of course people in the abortion industry know the difference, but they called them contraceptives anyway.] at least for many of the most popular forms of contraception – i.e the Pill, IUD, and other implantable contraceptives such as Norplant.

    Check out the medically *PROVEN* evidence that these forms of contraception *DO* cause abortions:


    BTW, the material on that website is provided by an unabashedly faithful and orthodox Roman Catholic….

    Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

    Steve B

  6. Peggy R says:

    The USCCB guy did a nice job responding to PP.

    I am frustrated that, while I am entirely in agreement that abortions should not be funded by taxpayer revenues to the government, the USCCB ultimately favors federal insurance. Do they not understand how the lives of the already living are going to be shortened and are in general danger? It is no accident that Obie keeps having to assure that he won’t pull the plug on grandma [creepy].

    I would like the USCCB to express some idea that a taxpayer funded insurance program is not necessary to ensure that all citizens obtain insurance. A number of changes to insurance regulation could improve competition and lower prices. Programs already exist for the poor. Yet, the USCCB site claims they don’t support socialized medicine.

    Also, I noticed on the USCCB web site that the language confuses universal insurance and universal medical service. The cases in which medical service is denied are rare. People without insurance are not routinely denied care.

  7. quovadis7 says:


    Sorry, but the above formatting doesn’t quite work right for the web address I just posted.

    Please use this one instead:


    Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

    Steve B

  8. IL Catholic says:

    Steve B,

    Did you read the entirety of Fr. Z’s comment?

    He said “This is a red herring. Contraception is not abortion. However, some people think that what are truly abortificients are actually contraceptives. Read on…”

    Anyway, it doesn’t really matter whether something is an abortion or a contraception. Both things are wrong.

  9. John Enright says:

    You did a good job in editorializing this thing, Father. Thanks.

  10. quovadis7 says:

    IL Catholic,

    I agree with you and the Church’s teaching – both contraception and abortion are morally wrong and seriously sinful.

    But the meaning of the word “contraception” depends upon whether one is using a *scientific* or a *practical* definition.

    Scientific definition = preventing the conception of a new human life (i.e. fertilization of an ovum by a sperm).

    Practical definition = preventing a woman from becoming pregnant (I found this very definition on Ask.com).

    Most folks who are “pro-choice”, probably as much to avoid a guilty conscience as anything, are using the practical definition. With that mindset, preventing fertilization or causing the abortion of a nascent human life are both accepted by them as legitimate means of achieving their goal of “avoiding” a pregnancy – i.e. both are “contraceptive” means, and many pro-choicers *WILL* even admit this.

    I would even go further than Fr. Z and hazard to bet that even many pro-life Catholics don’t realize that the “contraceptive” Pill, IUD, and other implants are often abortifacient. Mr. Claveau noted in one of his books (also available from the website I provided) that many quite audible gasps of dismay are often heard from Catholic women, when in his parish talks he points out these medically undeniable facts.

    More Catholic Priests need to be the shepherds they were ordained to be & present these crucially important facts to their parishioners. Too many Catholic women do not even realize that they are aborting their children when they use drugs to contracept.

    However, far too few Bishops & Priests today are willing to confront them with the extremely serious sins that *both* contraception and abortion are. And far too many Catholic Priests are reluctant to focus upon and preach about the seriousness of Sin *at* *all* anymore.

    So, the fundamental matter at issue goes *WAY* beyond this matter of “contraception,” abortion, or even health care reform in general….

    Whatcha gonna do about *THAT* Priests & Bishops???

    Pax et benedictiones tibi, per Christum Dominum nostrum,

    Steve B

  11. Genevieve says:

    re: the red herring
    I just don’t get how it works that we believe American Catholics are smart enough now to be “participants” in the liturgy, but we find it difficult to believe they are smart enough to understand the difference between contraception and abortion. Anyway, why I really posted was this:
    “… whose main reason to exist is to cause as many abortions as possible – for the sake of profit…”
    Fr. Z, could you clarify what you meant by this? I thought that PP is a non-profit. I thought that because I routinely have to give up popular American causes when I find out that they help to fund PP — causes like American Cancer Society and United Way, somone even told me recently that Whole Foods gives money to PP, though I haven’t researched that yet. I don’t think they can legally give financial support to PP if it is for profit.

Comments are closed.