Catholic Bishops and Religious Rights vs. Women’s Rights

Submitted by Elaine Magliaro, Guest Blogger

There has been a lot of discussion in the media recently about the HHS contraception coverage mandate. Much of the talk has focused on women’s sex lives and the types of birth control that doctors prescribe for women in order to prevent pregnancy—as well as on the separation of church and state and the mandate’s infringement on religious freedom and the Catholic Church’s First Amendment rights. There has been much less talk about women’s health, women’s rights, and the use of birth control pills to treat certain female medical conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis. Both of these conditions can cause severe pain and lead to other health problems. According to Bruce Nolan of The Times-Picayune, the Institute of Medicine—which is a non-profit advisory panel—recommended the contraception coverage because “those services are basic to individual health.”

Many Americans—especially women—think that contraceptive coverage and other “female-related” medical services ARE basic to women’s health.  Catholic bishops, however, believe that contraceptive coverage and some hospital services are in conflict with the church’s “moral conscience.” The bishops contend that the church has the right to deny certain types of health insurance coverage for women who work for Catholic institutions. It doesn’t matter to the bishops whether the female employees are members of other religions…are atheists or agnostics. The church’s position is that all female employees of Catholic institutions should be denied access to all forms of contraceptives and not be provided medical insurance that would cover the cost of certain medical procedures. The bishops also believe that certain types of treatment and procedures—including tubal ligations—should not be provided to women at Catholic hospitals.

When I was doing research on an earlier post, The National Women’s Law Center Takes a Position on Contraceptive Coverage & “Extreme” Legislation, I came across some information about Catholic hospitals that caused me great concern. The information left me with the belief that Catholic bishops and the Catholic Church do not seem to value the lives of women as much as they value the lives of men and the unborn. In this post, I will look at the “usurpation of female patients’ rights” at Catholic hospitals. I think after reading my post you will understand why I drew the conclusion that I did.

In January of 2011, the National Women’s Law Center issued a report about women’s health and lives being at risk at some hospitals because of religious restrictions. The NWLC report includes a legal analysis of the implications of its study—which focused on Catholic-affiliated hospitals’ treatment of women with pregnancy complications.

From the National Women’s Law Center:

The Center’s report, Below the Radar: Ibis Study Shows that Health Care Providers’ Religious Refusals Can Endanger Pregnant Women’s Lives and Health, demonstrates that certain hospitals, because of their religious beliefs, deny emergency care, the standard of care and adequate information to make treatment decisions to patients experiencing miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies. The study and report focused on cases where no medical intervention was possible that would allow the patient to continue her pregnancy and where delaying treatment would endanger the woman’s health or even life. These hospital treatment practices violate federal laws and regulations that are intended to protect patients and ensure the delivery of quality health care services at hospitals receiving Medicare funds…

“Most women assume that when they go to a hospital they will be offered the best medical treatment options for their diagnosis,” said NWLC Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger. “But this report paints a chilling picture of women with ectopic pregnancies or suffering miscarriages who are not offered the full spectrum of medically appropriate treatment options because they have gone to a hospital whose religious affiliation conflicts with the provision of those options. To make matters worse, women denied certain medical options may never even be told that these options could, for example, improve their chances of having a healthy pregnancy in the future. Women who fail to receive appropriate treatment or to be informed that preferable options would be provided in another hospital can suffer serious harm with long-term adverse consequences to their lives and health.”

The reports highlight stark cases where doctors noted a discrepancy between the medically-accepted standard of care for miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy and the treatment provided by hospitals due to their religious affiliation. For example, while the standard of care for certain ectopic pregnancies requires patients to receive the medication methotrexate, doctors in the study reported that their hospitals forbade the use of the drug. Instead, patients were either transferred to another hospital or required to undergo unnecessary and invasive surgery to resolve their condition, thereby being denied the standard of care.

One doctor in the study reported several instances of potentially fatal tubal ruptures in patients with ectopic pregnancies at her Catholic-affiliated hospital. She said that her hospital subjected patients with ectopic pregnancies to unnecessary delays in treatment, despite patients’ exhibiting serious symptoms indicating that a tubal rupture was possible. These patients, therefore, were denied emergency care to which they were legally entitled.

In some of the miscarriage cases described in the Ibis Study, the standard of care also required immediate treatment. Yet doctors practicing at Catholic-affiliated hospitals were forced to delay treatment while performing medically unnecessary tests. Even though these miscarriages were inevitable, and no medical treatment was available to save the fetus, some patients were transferred because doctors were required to wait until there was no longer a fetal heartbeat to provide the needed medical care. This delay subjected these patients to further risks of hemorrhage and infection and could have violated their right to receive emergency medical treatment under federal law.

Early last year, the NWLC filed a complaint with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in which it identified violations of health care provider obligations “under the Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs) resulting from these practices.” The complaint urged “HHS to issue a notification reminding hospitals that they are bound by all CoPs; to require hospitals to institute policies and procedures to protect patients’ legally enforceable rights; to investigate the failure of hospitals to provide standard of care and informed consent, and to take corrective action to prevent further violations.”

Jill Morrison, Senior Counsel for NWLC, said that religious dictates should not “trump bedrock legal protections that entitle patients to the standard of care and informed consent in the American medical system.” She claimed that hospitals had been allowed to disregard their obligation “to prioritize women’s health and lives” for too long. Morrison added, “It’s time to shine a light on these serious violations and make hospitals accountable to protect the lives and health of the patients they serve.”

I think it is of great import for women to read the study. According to the National Catholic Reporter, “Catholic health care facilities form the largest not-for-profit health service sector in the United States, caring for nearly one-sixth of all U.S. hospital patients each year.”

In his article in the March/April 2011 issue of The Humanist, Rob Boston wrote about Catholic Hospitals’ usurpation of patients’ rights:

Healthcare has been in the news a lot lately, but much of the discussion has centered on the bill backed by President Barack Obama that Republicans in Congress are trying to repeal. Americans obviously have different opinions about that legislation. We can hope, however, that most Americans don’t support medical decisions being made subservient to religious dogma.

Yet about a fifth of all U.S. hospitals abide by a series of directives promulgated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The directives ban abortions for any reason, forbid distribution of birth control (often including “morning after” pills for rape victims), deny sterilization operations such as vasectomies and tubal ligations, and nullify advanced directives and “living wills” that conflict with Catholic doctrine.

Catholic hospitals impose these narrow doctrinal views—which are so strict that even most American Catholics don’t support them—while receiving a windfall of public support through direct government subsidies and participation in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

Americans are increasingly finding that medical services they took for granted have evaporated as a spate of hospital mergers across the country has subjected many people to the bishops’ directives. Why is this? Because when Catholic hospitals merge with non-Catholic institutions, the latter are required to accept the directives as part of the deal.

Women’s rights groups and advocates of reproductive freedom have been speaking out, but too often their complaints fall on deaf ears. In Montgomery County, Maryland—an affluent suburb of Washington, DC, with a well educated population that leans toward progressive politics—state regulators recently ruled that a Catholic hospital group could build the county’s first new hospital in thirty years. In making this decision, the board bypassed a rival proposal from a group run by the Seventh-day Adventists. Although both groups are religious, the Adventists had promised to provide the full range of reproductive services.

Asked about the lack of reproductive healthcare at the new facility, one hospital regulator blithely said that people who needed those services could go elsewhere.

An Example of Catholic Courage

It is good to hear stories about people of conscience who work as administrators and doctors at some Catholic hospitals. These are individuals who choose to provide life-saving medical services frowned upon by bishops to pregnant female patients in emergency situations.

Sister Margaret McBride, a nun who worked as the administrator of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, chose to sign off on an abortion “for a woman who was eleven weeks pregnant and suffering from life-threatening pulmonary hypertension.” The woman was twenty-seven-years-old and the mother of four children. Doctors at the hospital had determined that terminating the woman’s pregnancy was the only way to save her life because her heart and lungs were in jeopardy. The nun’s action did not sit well with Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted. The bishop was “furious” and demoted Sister McBride. He also announced the she had automatically excommunicated herself from the Catholic Church by her actions. Olmsted also stripped the hospital of its affiliation with the Roman Catholic diocese.

In his New York Times column Tussling over Jesus, Nicholas Kristof said that Sister McBride appears to be the individual in this story who “emulated the life of Jesus” and not the bishop. Kristof wrote that Bishop Olmsted had spent much of his life “as a Vatican bureaucrat climbing the career ladder.” He added that what happened at St. Joseph’s Hospital “is a bellwether of a profound disagreement that is playing out at many Catholic hospitals around the country.” Kristof believes that we are likely to see more clashes like the one between the bishop and the hospital in Arizona in the future “as the church hierarchy grows more conservative, and as hospitals and laity grow more impatient with bishops who seem increasingly out of touch.”

Click here to watch a PBS video on the subject of Catholic-Secular Hospital Mergers. The video is just under ten minutes long.

SOURCES

Women’s Health and Lives at Risk Due to Religious Restrictions at Hospitals, New Center Study Shows: National Women’s Law Center Files Complaint with Department of Health and Human Services (National Women’s Law Center)

Below the Radar Fact Sheet: Religious Refusals to Treat Pregnancy Complications Put Women in Danger (National Women’s Law Center)

Assessing Hospital Policies & Practices Regarding Ectopic Pregnancies & Miscarriage Management (National Women’s Law Center)

Commentary: Dust-up over contraceptive rule ignores rights of employees (The Kansas City Star)

Catholic hospitals serve one in six patients in the United States (National Catholic Reporter)

U.S. Catholic Bishops Major Force Behind War on Women: Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill (NOW)

The Men Behind The War On Women (Huffington Post)

Prescription For Disaster: Hospital Mergers And Heavy-Handed Tactics Are Giving The Catholic Hierarchy An Increasingly Problematic Role In American Health Care (Americans United for Separation of Church and State)

House Passes H.R. 358, the “Let Women Die” Act of 2011 (RH Reality Check)

Catholic Death Panels Coming to a Hospital Near You (Ms. Magazine)

Employees Need Birth Control Coverage Mandate (The Nation)

Hospital merger limits medical options: Catholic rules will bar tubal ligations at University hospital (Courier-Journal)

Catholic-Secular Hospital Mergers (PBS)

Medical Emergency: Catholic Hospitals Usurp Patients’ Rights (The Humanist)

Merger Watch

Tussling Over Jesus (New York Times)

Americans almost evenly split over conscience exemption in birth control coverage (The Times-Picayune)

Contraception and Separation (Turley Blawg)

110 thoughts on “Catholic Bishops and Religious Rights vs. Women’s Rights

  1. It’s the FDA that considers birth control pills “off label” for treatment of endometriosis.

    And speaking of women’s health and lives, it’s Obama’s HHS that directed the FDA to restrict access to Plan B emergency contraception.

  2. Great article Elaine. It is amazing that Catholic Bishops would break the law and still collect millions from the Feds! It is truly a war on women. Even for a Nun who truly followed the calling of Jesus.

  3. Plan B requires a prescription for those under 17, puzzling. Can you imagine the firestorm that the GOP would have created if eleven year old girls could by this over the counter. They don’t even want adult women to have access to birth control pills.

  4. God is not in the church, and God is not in the state. God however is everywhere. Both should see how Jesus is, and Change accordingly. When they do things will be the apposite to what they now.

  5. God is not in the church, and God is not in the state. God however is everywhere. Both should see how Jesus is, and Change accordingly. When they do things will be the apposite to what they now. The pill is like a dull sword that has one job even as a sword has one job, and that is to Kill life.

  6. God is not in the church, and God is not in the state. God however is everywhere. Both should see how Jesus is, and Change accordingly. When they do things will be the apposite to what they are now. The pill is like a dull sword that has one job even as a sword has one job, and that is to Kill life.

  7. SM,

    Emergency contraception is far more effective if taken immediately by women who wish to prevent pregnancy. The Obama administration is compromising the lives and health of young women across the county by requiring that they seek a prescription for Plan B, and further requiring adults to prove age and request the medicine from behind a pharmacy counter. It’s absurd.

    The blame for Plan B restrictions rests squarely with Kathleen Sebelius and Obama. The FDA science panel recommended OTC approval and was overruled in an unprecedented action by the HHS.

  8. puzzling, Women 17 and over can buy emergency contraception over the over the counter. Maybe it is better to let eleven year old girls buy it over the counter, too, but it was deemed to be too risky.

  9. SM,

    We aren’t talking about many 11-year-olds, but we are talking about millions of high school students, 48% of whom are sexually active to the point of pregnancy risk.

    Are you saying that Sebelius’ overrule of the FDA’s scientists was done for political reasons by Obama?

  10. “There has been much less talk about women’s health, women’s rights, and the use of birth control pills to treat certain female medical conditions, including polycystic ovary syndrome and endometriosis. Both of these conditions can cause severe pain and lead to other health problems. According to Bruce Nolan of The Times-Picayune, the Institute of Medicine—which is a non-profit advisory panel—recommended the contraception coverage because “those services are basic to individual health.”

    I have no problem whatsoever with any well-established drug treatment used to cure a malady.

    But even though the Church of Modern Medicine has convinced an entire population that a pregnancy is a nine-month tumor meriting a surgeon in an operation theater, I submit it is preposterous to believe friends, neighbors and strangers ought to be forced to finance other peoples’ sex products.

    But that’s just me.

  11. puzzling, One of the arguments that was used against it was that a ten year old could buy the plan B which is true. It was not a scientifically based decision but one could understand the decision after what has happened with the birth control pill. It is still better than it was under Bush when everyone had to get a prescription. Now only 16 and under require a prescription. Planned Parenthood and NARAL are supporting Obama in 2012 not the republican candidates.

  12. Patric,

    “But even though the Church of Modern Medicine has convinced an entire population that a pregnancy is a nine-month tumor meriting a surgeon in an operation theater…”

    I disagree with that statement. Not sure how you came to that conclusion.

  13. SM,

    So Obama should be praised, not because he closed Guantanamo as he promised, but because he stopped a few of the worst tortures there in comparison to what Bush permitted?

    The reality is that Obama’s administration has failed women with these rulings, and relativism between Bush II and Bush III doesn’t change the facts. The RCC has very little policy power in comparison to the office of the President. It is the Obama administration that has sold out women’s reproductive freedom in order to duck challenges to the fundamental principles that progressives elected him on.

  14. Last Week’s Congressional Hearing on Religious Liberty:
    A Disturbing Presentation by a Catholic Bishop Raises Questions About the Separation of Church and State
    11/3/11
    http://verdict.justia.com/2011/11/03/last-weeks-congressional-hearing-on-religious-liberty

    Excerpt:
    Last week, the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives held a most curious hearing on “religious liberty.” Those testifying included the Rev. William C. Lori, the Catholic Bishop of Bridgeport, CT and the Chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ newly-instituted “Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty”; Colby May, Director and Senior Counsel of the American Center for Law & Justice; and the Rev. Barry Lynn, Executive Director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

    There was no actual topic for the hearing, other than the generic topic of “religious liberty,” a malleable term that was made to fit each speaker’s current legislative agenda. The oddest of the three presentations was that delivered by Lori, who employed the Roman Catholic Church’s definition and theory of “religious liberty” as though the members of Congress could simply forsake the Constitution, and instead embrace the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Lori’s presentation should be disturbing to anyone with even a basic knowledge of the U.S. Constitution, as I will explain.

    Why Lori’s Presentation Should Give All Americans Cause for Concern

    To begin, Lori’s sources for defining and explaining “religious liberty” included Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, and the Second Vatican Council, as opposed to, say, the United States Supreme Court.

    Moreover, there appears to be little room for non-believers in Lori’s religio-centric worldview. According to him, “[R]eligious liberty is inherent in our very humanity, hard-wired into each and every one of us by our Creator.” For those who do not believe in his “Creator,” this would come as a surprise at many levels.

    His description of religious liberty, viewed through the Catholic Church’s lens, partook of the current fashion of treating religious believers as though their beliefs should always trump societal interests. For instance, Lori claimed that “individuals ‘are not to be forced to act in a manner contrary to [their] conscience’ nor ‘restrained from acting in accordance with their conscience.’” This, however, is an incoherent standard that would forbid the prosecution and punishment of fanatical Islamic terrorists, of the child rapists and polygamists of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and of the “faith-healing” parents who watch their children die of treatable medical ailments.

    In America, however, the law can and does, in fact, force religious believers to act contrary to their religious beliefs when they are harming others, and thank God that is so.

    Another Item on the Religious Agenda: Opposition to Contraception

    After these initial statements, Lori got down to the legislative nitty-gritty that I assume was the true impetus for the hearing in the first place. The Catholic bishops’ problem, at least as suggested by Lori, is not really about religious liberty. Rather, their core problem is that they have lost the public debate over contraception.

    Normally, legislators fall all over themselves to curry the favor of the bishops (apparently believing that doing so will increase their re-election chances). But when a significant majority of the American public takes a different view than the bishops have adopted, the bishops no longer have as much power. And when it comes to contraception, a sizable majority of the American public, Catholic and non-Catholic, believes that the use of contraception is perfectly appropriate. The majority’s views on the issue of contraception, therefore, are not in line with the bishops’ attempts to forestall its use.

    The Catholic hierarchy opposes the use of contraception, and does not want Catholics to use it. Of course, it is their prerogative to hold such views, and to try to persuade their members to follow their precepts. However, they now want the federal government to assist them in ensuring that people do not use contraception. Fortunately, however, Lori’s list of grievances only documents the Catholic Church’s prior failures to convince politicians and most Americans to embrace this plainly and solely religious view.

    The Church is especially critical of federal law in this area. First, federal health care law requires most private insurance companies to cover contraception and sterilization. There is an exception for religious employers when the religion’s tenets forbid taking such measures, but apparently, that is not enough for Lori and the Catholic bishops. They want to allow—or perhaps even force—private plans employed by secular employers not to cover contraception or sterilization, too.

    This is a weak argument, because there is nothing in federal law that requires anyone to use contraception or sterilization. The government does not force women to swallow birth control pills, or to undergo forced surgical procedures to tie their fallopian tubes. Rather, the legal rule is that if women choose for themselves to use contraception or undergo sterilization, then the insurance company will have to cover the cost.

  15. The fact is this…The Catholic Church SUPPORTED Obamacare believing the representations made by the Obama administration that a conscience clause would be included. Now that the bill has been passed, Catholics feel absolutely betrayed by this ‘mandate.”

    When are we going to realize Obama is just out of his league. He already has one serious constitutional issue with Obamacare, so he INTENTIONALLY creates yet another? Oh my…

  16. Elaine –

    There are a number of reasons, but to keep it brief, here’s but one:

    Over the years my partners & I have treated somewhere around 320 women in labor, and have delivered – as near as I can recall – 39 babies. As you might imagine, C-sections are not performed in the field, so that certainly isn’t an option for us in the emergency setting. So we assist the mother in the traditional ways. It has become abundantly clear to us that C-sections – a major surgery – are far too frequently performed, both for the convenience of the physician, as well as the millions of dollars they generate. From our standpoint, this in itself is an abomination.

    Since the subject here is women’s health, here’s an accurate overview, in case you haven’t seen it:

    http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10456

  17. Bishops Lobby Congress to Codify Their Beliefs into Law; Majority of Catholics Oppose Bill
    Catholics for Choice
    13 October 2011
    http://catholicsforchoice.org/news/pr/2011/BishopsLobbyCongresstoCodifyTheirBeliefs.asp

    Excerpt:
    Washington—Catholics today expressed anger about the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ role in promoting support for the so-called “Protect Life Act” (HR 358), a bill that will endanger women’s lives across the US with an extreme ban on abortion coverage while expanding permission for health professionals to refuse to provide reproductive healthcare services, even in life-threatening situations. The US bishops have been actively lobbying policymakers and pushing conservative Catholics to do the same in an effort to see the bill passed.

    “The Catholic bishops’ actions show an unhealthy obsession with sexual issues. They appear to be hell-bent on wasting real and political capital on dictating to all Americans what their sexual choices should be. In their campaign to impose their will on others, they are willing to stoop to new lows,” said Catholics for Choice president Jon O’Brien. “The arguments that the USCCB has made are not scientifically, medically or legally sound. The bishops, having failed to convince the majority of Catholics on issues related to reproductive health and sexuality, are attempting to use Congress to impose their personal beliefs on all Americans. The bishops should stop forcing their personal beliefs on others and allow women and their doctors to make healthcare decisions. It’s time for us to respect the consciences of all and support people’s right to make their own decisions about their lives and health.”

  18. puzzling, How can you attack Obama on matters of church and state and women’s health and then support Ron Paul?

  19. Bill,

    “Now that the bill has been passed, Catholics feel absolutely betrayed by this ‘mandate.’”

    There are many Catholics who don’t agree with you.

  20. 4 Mar 2012 06:50 PM
    The Politicization Of Catholicism

    BENEDICTHANDS2JoeKlamar:AFP:Getty

    The legacy of Pope John Paul II and the current pontiff is increasingly felt. In rejecting the separation of church and state, and by focusing primarily on sexual issues, the hierarchy in many countries is beginning to fuse with parties of the social right. And the politics is now Santorum-esque. Listen to Cardinal Dolan of New York embracing the culture war:

    “We are called to be very active, very informed and very involved in politics.”

    There’s more:

    “It is a freedom of religion battle,” he said. “It is not about contraception. It is not about women’s health.” He added: “We’re talking about an unwarranted, unprecedented, radical intrusion” into “a church’s ability to teach, serve and sanctify on its own.”

    The cardinal mocked a secular culture that “seems to discover new rights every day.” “I don’t recall a right to marriage,” he said, describing marriage, instead, as a “call.”

    “Now we hear there’s a right to sterilization, abortion and chemical contraceptives. I suppose there might be a doctor who would say to a man who’s suffering some type of sexual dysfunction, ‘You ought to visit a prostitute to help you.’ ”

    The rhetoric is creeping toward Limbaughism. The Second Council’s notion that all Catholics are the church is dismissed:

    At a news conference after Saturday’s speech, Cardinal Dolan said, “We kind of got our Irish up when leaders in government seemed to be assigning an authoritative voice to Catholic groups that are not the bishops.” He added: “If you want an authoritative voice, go to the bishops. They’re the ones that speak for the truths of the faith.”

    Yes, they did a great job ensuring that thousands of children were left at the mercies of child predators for decades, didn’t they? Just trust them. Don’t listen to the majority of Catholics who dissent, or those brave souls who exposed the network of pedophiles and pederasts. Then the leader of an institution which refuses to allow women equality, boasts of using women as p.r. elements of a political campaign:

    He told a story about bishops hiring an “attractive, articulate, intelligent” laywoman to speak against abortion and said it was “the best thing we ever did.”

    And in Britain, Cardinal Keith O’Brien has now likened allowing gay citizens to have civil marriage to “madness” and the legalization of slavery:

    Disingenuously, the Government has suggested that same-sex marriage wouldn’t be compulsory and churches could choose to opt out. This is staggeringly arrogant. No Government has the moral authority to dismantle the universally understood meaning of marriage. Imagine for a moment that the Government had decided to legalise slavery but assured us that “no one will be forced to keep a slave”.

    It’s in this context that you have to understand the recent cruel withholding of communion to a lesbian daughter at her mother’s funeral, or the abrupt firing of a gifted music teacher because he sought to marry the man he loves. As modern society shifts, and as its own flock shifts with it, the Church hierarchy has decided to double-down on its sexual absolutism. The cruelty comes with it.

  21. This post brings to mind the article yesterday about the crimes of IBM in profiting from the holocaust and facilitating the movement of people and data controls of people. One contention in the article and the comments was that a corporation was amoral, Not immoral. But not accountable for such crimes. That a corporation owes a duty to shareholders and that is it.
    Justiapose that against Citzens United. Here on this article we have contentions that the Church, not the members, have First Amendtment rights. The prong of the First Amendment is not cited but let us presume the free expression of religion. Does it belong to the Church or to the person? the other prongs of the First Amendment might be the free expression clause and the right of a person to assemble at the clinic under the assembly clause to discuss and promote rights of persons to medical care.

    In other words the issues are not narrow and cut and dried. Here I would suggest that the right of the person to freely follow their religious belief on the issue of medical care trumps the right of the Church to suppress those beliefs. A Church in America does nto have the right to suppress either religious belief or free expression on medical issues of a person just because they are a church member. As Mark Twain said: Never the twain shall meet.
    Here too, the person is an employee of a church entity,. not a monk. A student at a university, albeit a Catholic University is likely to not be Catholic, at Saint Louis University only 70% are Catholic. So, a doctor prescribes a drug and the Catholic Church intervenes and says No that drug is against our First Amendment rights. You can not obtain that in our clinic. Even if the person is not engaging in sex but needs the drug for a life threatening situation. The student who spoke out against these Vatican practices was called a slut by Rush Limbaugh yesterday. Does Rush have a First Amendment right to defame her? Does some Priest get to defame her before the Mass tomorrow?

    Just a DogTalkin

  22. The disregard of the church for the lives of actu living breathing was brought home to me the th movie the Cardinal. In that movie the”Cardinal” dramatically turned hisback in his pregnant sister and let her die. The Church is in control of a significant if not a controlling percentage of all the health care in the US which is funded in large portion by uninformed taxpayers whose lives are put at risk by hospital who allow bishops to make medical decisions based on their beliefs rather
    That the best interests of the patients. It is outrageous and is nothing les than an establishment of religion. UnAmerican, unconstitutional but very profitable for the Church and the politicians they bank roll with their tax free dollars.

  23. PatricParamedic wrote:

    It has become abundantly clear to us that C-sections – a major surgery – are far too frequently performed, both for the convenience of the physician, as well as the millions of dollars they generate.

    Natural childbirths done off-hours in hospitals raise complication rates and can be more painful, prolonged, and less convenient for mothers. Scheduled C-sections allow birth to happen when a hospital has full services and expertise available, increases predictability for mother and staff alike, and reduces pain and complications over the uncertainty that can occur in natural childbirths.

    To ascribe C-sections to a profit motive and selfishness of physicians devalues real and legitimate choices of women acting on behalf of their health, safety and comfort as well as the well-being of their unborn children.

  24. If hospitals are disregarding the CoP that is part of the package associated with taxpayer funding then the funding needs to be pulled regardless of the reason for the compromised care. It’s Medicare/Medicaid fraud plain and simple.

  25. Elaine,

    Excellent article. I knew the Catholics had a large share of the hospital market, but I had no idea was as large as 1/6th of the total market. No wonder the greed of Mammon is driving instead of the compassion of Jesus.

  26. No one would dare prosecute the men with the collars for any thing as petty as Medicare fraud. The desire for money and power has perverted the Catholic Church. In order to divert all eyes from the obvious fact the Church is focusing on its time proven target women. They and it wiil countenance and support any outrage against women to prove they are “pious”. It is a scandel and a sin but that has never mattered.

  27. Elaine,
    Perhaps the best to date of any of your posts and that’s really raising the bar. You provide very important information for all of us to know. How many men understand how really dangerous ectopic pregnancies are to a woman, for instance.
    Patric whose writing is on occasion admirable, is despite his medical expertise unable to really comprehend what many woman giving birth go through, I can’t. What is sorely lacking from most debates about woman’s issues in America is women’s perspective. You and the other women who I am proud inhabit this blog, have been setting the men here straight on context and perspective.

  28. Puzzling –

    Sounds like you subscribe to any number of obstetric myths, up to & including the belief that a hospital environment is inherently safer than the home. Absolutely not.

    You may want to take a peak at the Cochran Studies, as an educational starting point:

    http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD000352/home-versus-hospital-birth

    “There is no strong evidence to favor either planned hospital birth or planned home birth for low risk pregnant women.”

    One of the finest books on the subject was written 15 years ago:

    “Obstetric Myths versus Research Realities,” by Henci Goer.

    And lastly, your statement of “To ascribe C-sections to a profit motive and selfishness of physicians, devalues real and legitimate choices of women . . . (snip).” is inherently flawed. The profit motives & convenience of care providers are on one side of the equation. The mothers are on the other.

    As long as the mother is well-informed, I personally don’t care where she chooses to have the child.

    Unfortunately, in my interviews of hundreds of full-term moms, women are often not well-informed, about the dangers of any number of hospital interventions, any more than the typical citizen is aware that nosocomial infections clobber 5,500 patients everyday of the year, and kill about 250 of them.

    Perhaps, if & when, the U.S. rises to the ranks of at least the top 30 nations in infant survival, we could have a different discussion.

  29. Heath care as you know it is sorcery down playing good care practitioners. A list on http://www.upcspine.com. That is the best advice I can give you. There has to be classes teaching the lingo, technique names,and how to really know if you have a U,C,S, practitioner working on you or not. .

  30. The greed of mammon. Jesus said give unto God what is Gods. When we give what God made to each other we are giving what God made to the spirit of God in each of us. Jesus was saying we could do without money. way back then. Humans did not get it when he said unless toy eat my flesh,and drink my blood you have no life in you. The thing is when we love like he loves we have him in us being flesh, and blood in us as if we ate him without j having to eat him at all. That is because we are flesh, and blood. Money is used by devils in a body that dies deceiving devils into thinking they can buy their way out of something when they can’t buy their way out of anything.

  31. The catholic church is perverting truth all over the place. Hell for one hell is Gods light to those that love darkness.That light will purify the universe. The hell the catholic Church speaks of is the hell the devil wanted, and would have got if God did not keep our first parents away from it. tree of life. There would be no death with all of the bad things we have now ending up roasting in a red giant star , and then freezing when the star went to a dwarf star, and we would not die even with no air. That is the hell the Catholic Church teaches. What is on the mind of the l fallen angle lucifer.
    The Catholic church is divided against its self having their form of sex, and then has the gall to teach others to dictate what kind of sex others can, and cannot have.

  32. The catholic church is perverting truth all over the place. Hell for one hell is Gods light to those that love darkness.That light will purify the universe. The hell the catholic Church speaks of is the hell the devil wanted, and would have got if God did not keep our first parents away from the tree of life. There would be no death with all of the bad things we have now ending up roasting in a red giant star , and then freezing when the star went to a dwarf star, and we would not die even with no air. That is the hell the Catholic Church teaches. What is on the mind of the l fallen angle lucifer.
    The Catholic church is divided against its self having their form of sex, and then has the gall to teach others to dictate what kind of sex others can, and cannot have.

  33. Elaine,
    Thank-you for the great article!

    @Patric 9:06pm: “…I submit it is preposterous to believe friends, neighbors and strangers ought to be forced to finance other peoples’ sex products. But that’s just me.”

    Maybe you ought to read the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, Consensus Report, on the topic “Biomedical and Health Research, Select Populations and Health Disparities, Women’s Health” which the department of HHS used to base their recommendations; before you make a statement as preposterous as Rush. But that’s just me!

    http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Clinical-Preventative-Services-for-Women-Closing-the-Gaps.aspx

  34. Blouise, Thank you, it is beautiful! That it’s a fractal is just perfect, what a great gift.

    I forgot where we were talking or I’d have visited without prompting. Srsly, senility takes its toll. :-)

  35. The basis of this whole debate is ridiculous IMO. It validates that the right to privacy between practitioner and patient (of either sex) is sacrosanct except for insurance companies and government. It also ceded the actual treatment of illness to insurance companies. The whole industry needs to be fundamentally rebuilt. It doesn’t matter what a doctor prescribes, it should be covered. Period. Either doctors provide medical care or they don’t. I think the public debate needs to devolve to some fundamentals. Once it does these kinds of issues become superfluous. If the debate was over medical care and the responsibility of corporate-supplied medical insurance this would be a non-issue.

    Yea, yea, I’m just ranting but I am so tired of everybody and their brother standing between my doctor and me, we practically have to shout to each other now as all the busybodies in the exam room chat among themselves. Bah, humbug.

  36. Mike….

    Not to take this off topic….. But the church is finding out how costly the sec scandal has need so what better rouse than this……

  37. Religious hospitals’ restrictions sparking conflicts, scrutiny
    By Rob Stein
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Wednesday, January 19, 2011
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/19/AR2011011907539.html?sid=ST2011011907548

    Excerpts:
    In Texas, a Catholic bishop made two hospitals cease doing tube-tying operations for women who are not going to have more babies. In Oregon, another bishop cast a medical center out of his diocese for refusing to discontinue the same procedure. In Arizona, a nun was excommunicated and the hospital where she works was expelled from the church after 116 years for allowing doctors to terminate a pregnancy to save a woman’s life.

    Such disputes between hospitals and church authorities appear to be arising because of a confluence of factors: Economic pressures are spurring greater consolidation in the hospital industry, prompting religiously affiliated institutions to take over or merge with secular ones, imposing church directives on them. At the same time, the drive to remain competitive has led some medical centers to evade the directives. Alongside those economic forces, changes in the church hierarchy have led increasingly conservative bishops to exert more influence over Catholic hospitals.

    The clashes have focused attention on the limitations on care available at Catholic hospitals. In Montgomery County, concern about those constraints has emerged as an issue in the battle over whether Holy Cross Hospital, a Catholic institution in Silver Spring, or Adventist HealthCare in Rockville should be authorized to build a new hospital in the county.

    A coalition of advocacy groups Wednesday urged the state to reject Holy Cross, citing concerns about access to reproductive health care, especially for poor women and teenagers. A decision in that case is expected Thursday.

    Such conflicts are likely to intensify as new flash points arise, such as the spread of infertility treatments considered taboo by the church and the possible availability of therapies derived from human embryonic stem cells.

    Although the issue has erupted at a variety of institutions, women’s health advocates are especially alarmed about Catholic hospitals, a leading source of health care in the United States.

    “Physicians are being told they must refuse to provide certain services even when they believe their refusal would harm their patient and violate established medical standards of care,” said Lois Uttley, who heads MergerWatch, a New York-based group that fights the takeover of secular medical centers by religiously affiliated hospitals.

    *****

    Bishops intervene

    In addition to barring abortions, the directives prohibit tubal ligations, the surgical sterilization of women and the second leading form of contraception in the United States.

    In Texas, CHRISTUS St. Michael’s and Trinity Mother Frances Hospital agreed in 2009 to a request by Bishop Alvaro Carrada to discontinue the practice. But St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Ore., refused a similar request, prompting Bishop Robert F. Vasa in February to sever ties with the 92-year-old institution, which was founded by nuns.

    “Sterilization has the direct effect of destroying a properly functioning part of the human body,” Vasa said in a telephone interview.

    As was the case at St. Joseph’s in Phoenix, the decision meant that Mass could no longer be celebrated in the hospital’s chapel, and the hospital had to return religious objects to the church.

    Several doctors interviewed across the country, particularly in rural areas, described frustration over being barred from taking a few extra minutes during a Caesarean delivery to tie the tubes of women who no longer want children or face complications if they become pregnant again.

    “I feel very stuck,” said a doctor at a hospital in an isolated town in a western mountain state whose institution barred the procedures after the Phoenix case. “I don’t know where to turn.”

    Jessica Graham, 33, delivered her second child through a Caesarean in September at the Sierra Vista Regional Health Center in Arizona, but she had to schedule a second operation to have her tubes tied after the hospital decided to become part of a Catholic hospital group and ordered a stop to all tubal ligations.

    “It’s very unsettling,” said Graham, whose kidney problems increase the risk of another pregnancy or another surgery. “Now they are going to have to back inside my body again and cut me open again.”

  38. Treatment Denied: Catholic Hospitals Refuse Care
    by Lindsay Spangler
    May 10, 2011
    http://www.care2.com/causes/treatment-denied.html

    Excerpt;
    Kathleen Prieskorn gasped in shock as her medical nightmare began. Still reeling from the heartbreak of an earlier miscarriage, Prieskorn was three months pregnant and working as a waitress when she felt a twinge, felt a trickle down her leg and realized she was miscarrying again.

    She rushed to her doctor’s office, “where I learned my amniotic sac had torn,” says Prieskorn, who lives with her husband in Manchester, N.H. “But the nearest hospital had recently merged with a Catholic hospital — and because my doctor could still detect a fetal heartbeat, he wasn’t allowed to give me a uterine evacuation that would help me complete my miscarriage.”

    To get treatment, Prieskorn, who has no car, had to instead travel 80 miles to the nearest hospital that would perform the procedure — expensive to do in an ambulance, because she had no health insurance. Her doctor handed her $400 of his own cash and she bundled into the back of a cab.

    “During that trip, which seemed endless, I was not only devastated, but terrified,” Prieskorn remembers. “I knew that if there were complications I could lose my uterus — and maybe even my life.”

    Ordeals like the one Prieskorn suffered are not isolated incidents: They could happen to a woman of any income level, religion or state now that Catholic institutions have become the largest not-for-profit source of health-care in the U.S., treating 1 in 6 hospital patients. And that’s because Catholic hospitals are required to adhere to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services — archconservative restrictions issued by the 258-member U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

    Because of the directives, doctors and nurses at Catholic-affiliated facilities are not allowed to perform procedures that the Catholic Church deems “intrinsically immoral, such as abortion and direct sterilization.” Those medical personnel also cannot give rape survivors drugs to prevent pregnancy unless there is “no evidence that conception has already occurred.” The only birth control they can dispense is advice about “natural family planning” — laborious daily charting of a woman’s basal temperature and cervical mucus in order to abstain from sex when she is ovulating — which only 0.1 percent of women use.

    The Catholic directives involve not just abortion and birth control but ectopic pregnancies, embryonic stem cell research, in-vitro fertilization, sterilizations and more. “The problem with [the directives],” says Susan Berke Fogel, an attorney at the National Health Law Program in Los Angeles, “is about substandard care becoming rampant in the U.S., threatening women’s health and women’s lives.”

  39. AY,

    You are correct in the assumption that this is a smokescreen to try to recoup the lost believers due to the ongoing pedophile scandal. It is trying to rouse sympathy among lapsed Catholics, by appealing to the indoctrination in their youth of being part of the RCC.

  40. Most lapsed catholics are far more liberal than the bishops. I don’t think it is an appeal to get us back but rather a power grab. It is having the opposite effect on lapsed catholics and many liberal women church goers. We have lots of lapsed catholics on this blog and I don’t think anyone is running back. Everyone I talk to is disgusted with the bishops whether they are lapsed or not.

  41. Reuters) – The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a powerful institution, at least on paper.

    But a recent debate over contraception coverage has exposed a deep divide between the 271 active bishops and the rank-and-file U.S. Catholics who are supposed to follow their moral authority. It also has raised questions about why some prominent Catholic intuitions ignore the bishops’ teachings – and whether the bishops will be able to reassert their authority.

    The gulf has left some politicians, ever eager to court the Catholic vote, struggling to figure out who now speaks for the Church. Some ordinary Catholics in the pews are wondering the same.

    “The bishops have lost their monopoly on speaking, and they have lost a lot of their clout,” said Father Thomas Reese, a Georgetown University theologian and church scholar.

    Led by Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, the bishops have been pressing a muscular campaign to fight a federal mandate that would have required all health insurance plans, including those offered by religious employers, to offer free birth control.

  42. AY, Mike S., & Swarthmore mom,

    It’s possible it could be a combination of two agendas. The bishops could be attempting to show they have “moral” conscience after the clergy sex scandal and also be trying to grab some political power.

    I definitely agree with what Swarthmore mom said about lapsed Catholics. I doubt this approach by the bishops would bring us lapsed Catholics back into the flock. If anything, I believe it reinforces our decision to leave the church.

  43. “Most lapsed catholics are far more liberal than the bishops.”

    SwM,

    I’m not saying that this is a smart tactic to woo people back. In fact to me it is a tactic of desperation coupled with an inability to accept that in this modern world the parameters of faith have changed. Had the RCC only built on the work of Pope John XXIII, they might have bee more viable and relevant today. My parents closest friends were all Catholic Italians and I spent many happy moments in their homes and churches at holiday times growing up.
    These were people who had deep faith, but retained the right of thinking freely for themselves. Pope John was moving towards modernizing the Church’s belief system and making it truly Christian in attitude. The reaction to his changes by those so caught up in doctrinaire patterns boomeranged into hardened resistance. The current Pope and his predecessor were leaders of this resistance ad the veering away of the RCC from the teachings of John is the result, to the detriment of the RCC.

  44. I’m No Longer a Catholic. Why Are You?
    By Soraya Chemaly
    Posted: 02/28/2012
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/catholic-leadership-does-not-represent-women_b_1276929.html

    Excerpt:
    There are so many perspectives on the Obama/Catholic Church contraception debate that it is hard to keep track. But, after you’ve stripped it all of its partisanship, wonky indignation and misleading religious angst, what you are left with it whether or not you really think women are equal and how much that equality means to you personally.

    At its core, this debate is about control. And not just birth control. Either you are willing to support and participate in a culture in which men, refusing to accept women as fully human, use a perverted claim of divine right to control women and their bodies, or you don’t. For me, equality — for everyone — and the way I want my children to understand their place in the world outweighed my commitment to a faith, which, no matter how much real good it does in the world, does more harm by its failure to recognize the fundamental humanity of its female adherents. This isn’t about freedom of religion; it’s about freedom from religion.

    According to the Guttmacher Institute, in a now much quoted study analyzed in the Washington Post, “Data shows that 98 percent of sexually experienced women of child-bearing age who identify themselves as Catholic have used a method of contraception other than natural family planning.” Catholics are also more likely than non-Catholics to support Obama’s insurance provisions, even prior to any accommodations. There are organization like Catholics for Choice who are clearly committed to Catholicism, but in defiance of bishops.

    Catholic lay people, modern members of a pluralistic democracy, are not adhering to the beliefs of their church fathers, who continue to tell them that using birth control is a sin. Survey after survey shows that they believe that contraception (and other progressive social issues) is a matter of individual and private choice. Catholic women and men understand the conflict between the primacy of conscience and obedience to Church authority — and are choosing their consciences. In the words of one Catholic woman, “I will start paying more attention to the bishops’ position on birth control on the day a Catholic bishop becomes pregnant.”

    When I was a student at Georgetown University, a Catholic (albeit Jesuit) school, it was impossible to get birth control. Except that it wasn’t. Any girl or woman who needed it could walk into the life-saving midwifery office on campus, talk to a practitioner and secure her contraceptive of choice. We were just not supposed to talk about it and were expected to quietly skulk about, so as not to jeopardize the efforts of the only people on campus, who happened to be Catholic women as well, who understood our need.

  45. Missing the Point: Contraception Debate is about Control of Women’s Health Decisions
    By Katherine Greenier, Director, Patricia M. Arnold Women’s Project, ACLU of Virginia
    https://acluva.org/9768/missing-the-point-contraception-debate-is-about-control-of-womens-health-decisions/

    Excerpt:
    The turmoil over access to birth control these past few weeks could result in disturbing scenarios for access to health care. If some lawmakers and religious groups, like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, have their way, you may be denied critical health care services simply because of your employer’s religious or moral beliefs. For example, under their worldview, if your employer thinks premarital sex is sinful, you could be refused coverage of treatment or screening for STDs. If your employer objects to blood transfusions, you could find yourself without coverage for critical care for you and your family. It sounds crazy, but that’s just where the manufactured controversy over contraception could take us.

    The “debate” over birth control is long settled. It has been nearly 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court recognized that access to contraception is protected by the federal Constitution, and birth control is used by 99 percent of women at some point in their lives. Yet a debate about birth control has been raging for several months and will continue as there are powerful political actors who are determined to radically redefine the relationship between health care access and one’s personal beliefs.

    What’s at issue is a federal rule requiring new insurance plans to include birth control in their coverage. The rule exempts houses of worship and will also ensure that religiously affiliated nonprofit institutions – like hospitals and universities – that object to contraception do not have to contribute to the cost of the contraceptive coverage.

    The bishops are not satisfied. They have said they will not rest until all employers and insurers – religious and secular – are allowed to exclude contraception from their health insurance plans. They are on record as saying, “The only complete solution to this religious liberty problem is for (the government) to rescind the mandate of these objectionable services.” If they get their way, the CEO of a big manufacturing company or the head of a small home healthcare service could decide, based on his or her personal moral beliefs, to refuse to include coverage for birth control in employees’ health insurance plans.

    The bishops’ response has crystalized what this fight has always been about – which is not religious liberty, but who gets to determine the future of women’s health care.

  46. If you really think about how powerful the RCC is all’s you have to do is look at the calendar we utilize for keeping track of days…… For some reason or another….. The Russian refused to utilize it until I think the 1900s….. Call that a power struggle if you will…..

  47. Why women’s rights are under siege
    By sarah Posner
    2/29/12
    http://www.salon.com/2012/02/29/why_womens_rights_are_under_siege/

    Excerpt:
    The role of religion in politics is as fraught a topic as one might imagine in a pluralistic democracy. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The Founders intended a secular government protecting the religious freedom of all, but over the past 40 years the Republican Party has evolved as the arm of a movement that insists the separation of church and state is a satanic, secularist purge of the pious. It doesn’t help when political reporters seem incapable of distinguishing Rick Santorum’s rant against church-state separation from a lament over loss of free expression.

    The Republican position is now absolutist: We are a Christian nation (“Judeo-Christian,” when they’re feeling particularly magnanimous), and any challenges to that are reviled as anti-American. That’s why the Republicans who control the House Judiciary Committee see no irony in holding a hearing on the supposed threat to the Constitution from Shariah law, and later holding a hearing on how the contraception coverage requirement was a dire threat to (Christian) religious liberty.

    Democrats and their allies, though, are largely stuck in a responsive muddle. In a bright spot, some of the Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, notably New York’s Jerrold Nadler and Michigan’s John Conyers, came to this week’s hearing on “Executive Overreach: The HHS Mandate Versus Religious Liberty” armed with excellent preparation on religious exemptions, and held witnesses’ feet to the fire on constitutional questions. But the problems are deeper than the Republicans’ misrepresentation of the legal standards for religious conscience objections. The problem is that religion plays a role in health policy at all.

    As Linda Hirshman and Irin Carmon have discussed in these pages, it remains to be seen whether the outrage over transvaginal probes will be enough to awaken a movement that will serve as a long-term backlash to violations of women’s reproductive autonomy, or merely a short-term effort to block the most physically intrusive of legislative initiatives.

  48. In a hypothetical general-election contest, he leads Romney by six points, 50 to 44 percent, winning independents (46-39 percent), women (55-37 percent) and those in the Midwest (52-42 percent). Obama has even bigger leads with women over Santorum and Gingrich. Rush and the GOP war on women are taking their toll on the republicans. Catholic women are obviously not listening to the bishops.

  49. Lottakatz said:

    “The basis of this whole debate is ridiculous IMO. It validates that the right to privacy between practitioner and patient (of either sex) is sacrosanct except for insurance companies and government.”

    It certainly does, and I share your ire 1000%.

    “It also ceded the actual treatment of illness to insurance companies.”

    Yes is does, and again, I’m as pissed about it as you are.

    “The whole industry needs to be fundamentally rebuilt.”

    Damned right it does.

    “It doesn’t matter what a doctor prescribes, it should be covered. Period.”

    That’s the way it used to be, and in millions of one-one-one, patient/MD relationships, it was a marvelous dynamic. Then what happened?

    “Either doctors provide medical care or they don’t. I think the public debate needs to devolve to some fundamentals.”

    Ah, amigo, and therein lies the friction. Because ‘devolving to some fundamentals’ is absolutely spot on reasoning, and few players on any side of this ugly game really want to do that. It weakens their power, and it seriously affects their bank accounts.

    “Fundamentals” would include acknowledging that medicine’s miscreants have been raping & pillaging the services payment systems for 50 years & more. Here’s a micro-example: 30 years ago this month an elderly neighbor friend asked me to go over his hospital bill with him. Although his co-pay was a mere $1,100 on a $19,000 bill, he was fretting over some of the charges. Of course he had every right to, since his coded bill included, among other cute little ditties, $98 for an egg-crate foam bed pad; $128 dollars for rolls of Transpore IV tape; and something like $27 for ‘mucous recovery systems’ (that would be a box of Kleenex)

    Fundamentals would have to recognize that health care has brought the outside meddling decision-makers (and I resent this even more than you do) down on itself, by robbing insurance companies & patients blind at every opportunity. If your X-ray comes out blurry due to tech error, it isn’t the tech that gets double-charged – it’s you.

    Tenet Health care and a crazed team of heart surgeons have paid out $520,000,000, to over 700 patient families for unnecessary operations. And that’s just one hospital in one decade.

    Since the subject here is women’s health, any cursory research into the subject turns up the galling reality of literally millions of women undergoing millions of surgeries, for no better reason than physician & clinic wealth-building.*

    Here’s 10 of the 2,490 MDs who couldn’t seem to stick to their Oath last year alone::

    http://www.beckersasc.com/stark-act-and-fraud-abuse-issues/10-physicians-accused-or-convicted-of-fraud.html

    So while it is a fact that we have far too many unwanted fingers in the patient-treatment pie, why on earth would any insurance provider trust anybody in a lab coat?

    Health care’s current misery is a self-inflicted wound.

    * http://www.gjel.com/verdicts/tenet1.html

    ** see Lynn Payer’s book, ”Medicine and Culture,”

  50. Okie-dokie, it’s time for me to come out of the closet.

    Hopefully, I’m far enough along on the thread that no one will read this.

    Here goes – I’m an evangelical. Of the Baptist persuasion. Southern. And a deacon. There, I said it.

    I follow the Bible as best I can, not as someone directs. As evidenced by some of my posts on this blog, many in my church would ban me as a heretic if they knew my heart.

    {Sorry if the following pains some of you; sorrier if you may think less of me but, seriously, just how much less could think of me?}

    My take on the mandatory provision of contraceptive coverage in health plans flows directly from my evangelical beliefs. In that respect, I believe it is up to each individual whether to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

    As an evangelical, I believe no one can make the decision to accept Christ for another person. Not your momma or daddy, nor your spouse, nor your pastor, priest, bishop, or Pope.

    If God is willing to let each person make their own decision on the only matter that has eternal consequence, then I don’t see how I can do anything other than let all people make their own decisions for themselves. What a woman does with her body is up to that woman.

    And if that isn’t sufficient for those who may disagree, I’ll add, “Keep your God damned hands off my daughters’ bodies.”

  51. Republicans have long ago starting with Reagan have sold their soul to the religious right sexual fundamentalists which has paralyzed and polarized the political process and promotes ignorance as a virtue. Republicans have taken a women’s health issue and declares that “basic religious freedoms at risk” as proclaimed by the Roman Catholic Church. Who is more misogynistic, the Roman Catholic Church or the Iranian Mullahs? All of which suffer from gynophobia! What is more irrational and illogical than to oppose abortion and contraceptives in the same breath as if it constitutes a fundamental mythical religious freedom! Whose freedom? It is certainly not “Freedom” or equality for women! If not for Science, then everything is a divine act of a god or a divine miracle, like transubstantiation! The Republican religious right sexual fundamentalists seek to establish a theocracy in America, beware!

  52. Oro Lee,

    Your statement shows a critical difference between “true believers” and “rational but believers”. You may let your beliefs inform your reason, but you don’t let them override it, and in doing so you recognize the value of choice is that it rests in the individual – free will – and that imposing (or attempting to impose) your belief upon them violates both their free will and their rights. Lose respect for you? Hardly. You’ve demonstrated that you try to live a Christ-like life. Would that all Evangelical Southern Baptists (and Christians in general of all flavors) walk the path as you do. You know the difference between walking the path, knowing the path and trying to dictate the path to others when it is theirs to choose or reject. No. You didn’t loose any respect in my estimation by your admission and illustration of your thought in action. You gained it.

  53. Gene, as ever you are gracious. I also admire your abilities as a word-smitty. I will forever remember “Alsoranistan”.

  54. Illinois Bill Would Require Men To Watch ‘Horrific Video’ On Side Effects Of Viagra | An Illinois lawmaker is fighting back against the GOP’s onslaught of ultrasound mandates and other abortion restrictions by introducing an amendment that would require men to watch a “horrific video” about the side effects of Viagra before receiving a prescription for the erectile-dysfunction drug. “They need to see a visual depiction of the treatment for the most common side effect to Viagra use, which is priapism, and it’s not a pretty procedure to watch,” said Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D), who added that she is tired of politicians deciding that “women are incapable of making their own decisions.” “If we are going to do this, we need to do it in a way that is applied equally.”

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/03/05/437402/illinois-bill-would-require-men-to-watch-horrific-video-on-side-effects-of-viagra/

  55. Delaware Council Approves ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred’ Resolution To Poke Fun At ‘Personhood’ Movement
    By Igor Volsky on Mar 5,
    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/03/05/437403/delaware-council-approves-every-sperm-is-sacred-resolution-to-poke-fun-at-personhood-movement/

    Excerpt:
    Back in February, a lawmakers in Oklahoma introduced a bill that poked fun at the rash of “personhood bills” giving zygotes the same rights as American citizens by offering an “every sperm is sacred” amendment. Under the measure, “any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.”

    Last week, a local Delaware council in Wilmington voted 8 -4 for a similar “tongue-in-cheek” resolution “that asks state legislatures and U.S. Congress to enact laws that forbid men from destroying their semen“…

  56. “Here goes – I’m an evangelical. Of the Baptist persuasion. Southern. And a deacon. There, I said it. I follow the Bible as best I can, not as someone directs.”

    “As an evangelical, I believe no one can make the decision to accept Christ for another person. Not your momma or daddy, nor your spouse, nor your pastor, priest, bishop, or Pope.

    If God is willing to let each person make their own decision on the only matter that has eternal consequence, then I don’t see how I can do anything other than let all people make their own decisions for themselves. What a woman does with her body is up to that woman.”

    Oro Lee,

    Even before this I was glad you had joined our ongoing soiree. After this, I am thrilled. I echo Gene in saying my already healthy respect for you has grown. If as Christian doctrine believes the ultimate judgment of a person is God’s alone, then one would think it follows logically that that person should have the free will to sin, or not. If in their hearts a person is a sinner how can God not know? Would the creator of the Universe be playing games with its creatures? Not likely.

    As a retired Psychotherapist I always try to understand why people act in a certain way. I’m convinced that there are a number of “Christians” who want to restrain others because they have trouble restraining their own impulses.

    Your words past and present indicate to me a pious person living by the true tenets of your faith. It is good to have the real Christianity represented here, since it adds to the multitudes of views.

  57. Following the good Bishop’s logic State Senator Constance Johnson of Oklahoma City has served Oklahoma’s 48th Senate District since 2005, but it was yesterday’s introduction of Senate Bill 1433 that really pushed her over the edge. The bill sought to define human life as beginning at the moment of conception, before it’s even implanted in the womb, and offers full legal protection to those tiny multicelled lumps. In the words of the bill, “the unborn child at every stage of development (has) all the rights, privileges, and immunities available to other persons, citizens, and residents of this state.” Johnson submitted an amendment of her own to the bill, which would have added the language,
    “However, any action in which a man ejaculates or otherwise deposits semen anywhere but in a woman’s vagina shall be interpreted and construed as an action against an unborn child.”
    Among other things, Johnson’s amendment would essentially outlaw oral sex, anal sex, and masturbation.
    This is a bill all of us can live with. Even the good Bishop would agree that all of his pedophile priests he hides in the closets would be guilty of killing life, i.e. sperm. Every sperm killer should be punished to the fullest extent of the law and excommunicated.

  58. if birth control were over the counter, this entire problem would go away. and if the govt. wants to make sure every woman has access to it, they should subsidize it and make it no cost to the consumer. and if a dr. wants a woman to take that medication for reasons other than birth control, they can prescribe it, just like my doctor told me to take ibuprofen for my foot pain.

    the only reason it’s not over the counter is because keeping it locked up is a multi-billion dollar industry benefiting only corporations and the 1%.

  59. Mike, thank you for your kind words, but I am honest enough(dang it) to have to correct one of your assessments. I am not pious. A pious person would do unto others as he would have them do unto him.

    I’m just abused, by folks who had a duty to protect but didn’t. About all I can muster is that I am not going to do unto others what was done to me and, if I can help it, I ain’t gonna let ’em do it to others.

    I know abuse when I see it. I sometimes serve pro bono as attorney ad litem for abused children, often infants. Not all abuse is physical. The deprivation of human contact, the total disregard of another person’s needs, the lack of love and compassion,is also abuse.

    Conservative politicians, pundits, and pastors and priests are abusing women. Period.

  60. You so eloquently talk about choice, and then want to take away the choice from your daughter away.. It is up to her whose hand touches her. You say you go by what you see the bible. Can you give me an example of that? I say hell is Gods light to the wicked. What do you say?

  61. If you expect the government to pay for your healthcare, then you’d better expect it to make demands in return.

  62. […] Jonathan Turley presents the sorry, sordid story in a post so thoroughly researched that women’s health advocates will want to bookmark it for both its content and its links. Before you go there, prepare yourself to be informed… and offended, by the uncaring disregard for women’s lives in some medical institutions. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. By Steve, on Monday March 5, 2012 at 10:14 pm, under Ethics, Health Care, Law, Women's Health, Women's Issues. No Comments Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL. « Targeted Killings Of Americans Overseas: Holder Speaks […]

  63. Oro Lee,
    A choice people have when abused by others, is to identify withe the abuser, or to identify with the abused. You’ve made the right choice in your pro bono work. As for piety I use it in the sense of someone really true to the message of their faith and I think you qualify.

  64. Humans need to look beyond this life. They have to see that it is by Gods grace to good now get good latter or it will be do bad now calling it good, and get bad latter. The good is eternal life, and the bad is eternal death. Ultimately it is the choice of each individual. When another human interferes with the choice of each individual not behaving like Jesus would stopping stones from being thrown without throwing a stone using wisdom will survive when Gods light shines even though the elements are burning all around you. Ironically the religions have not taught us to save the soul for if if they did war would be avoided even as a human avoids to put his hand on a red hot stove top. It seems that real truth has been avoided from being taught for a Long time.

  65. Meredith Wright said:

    “If you expect the government to pay for your healthcare, then you’d better expect it to make demands in return.”

    Outstanding observation. Adopting well-connected political strangers to make decisions in our best interest. is inherently flawed.

    Ask the Amish.

  66. Women’s Health Care at Risk
    Published: February 28, 2012
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/opinion/womens-health-care-at-risk.html

    Excerpt:
    A wave of mergers between Roman Catholic and secular hospitals is threatening to deprive women in many areas of the country of ready access to important reproductive services. Catholic hospitals that merge or form partnerships with secular hospitals often try to impose religious restrictions against abortions, contraception and sterilization on the whole system.

    This can put an unacceptable burden on women, especially low-income women and those who live in smaller communities where there are fewer health care options. State regulators should closely examine such mergers and use whatever powers they have to block those that diminish women’s access to medical care.

    Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky, for example, recently turned down a bid by a Catholic health system to merge with a public hospital that is the chief provider of indigent care in Louisville. He cited concerns about loss of control of a public asset and restrictions on reproductive services.

    The nation’s 600 Catholic hospitals are an important part of the health care system. They treat one-sixth of all hospital patients, and are sometimes the only hospital in a small community. They receive most of their operating income from public insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid and from private insurers, not from the Catholic Church. They are free to deliver care in accord with their religious principles, but states and communities have an obligation to make sure that reproductive care remains available. This should be a central goal for government officials who have a role in approving such consolidations.

    As Reed Abelson wrote in a recent report in The Times, these mergers are driven by shifts in health care economics. Some secular hospitals are struggling to survive and eager to be rescued by financially stronger institutions, which in many cases may be Catholic-affiliated. By one estimate, 20 mergers between Catholic and non-Catholic hospitals have been announced over the past three years and more can be expected.

  67. Beyond Pelvic Politics
    By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
    Published: February 11, 2012
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/12/opinion/sunday/kristof-beyond-pelvic-politics.html

    Excerpt:
    I MAY not be as theologically sophisticated as American bishops, but I had thought that Jesus talked more about helping the poor than about banning contraceptives.

    The debates about pelvic politics over the last week sometimes had a patronizing tone, as if birth control amounted to a chivalrous handout to women of dubious morals. On the contrary, few areas have more impact on more people than birth control — and few are more central to efforts to chip away at poverty.

    My well-heeled readers will be furrowing their brows at this point. Birth control is cheap, you’re thinking, and far less expensive than a baby (or an abortion). But for many Americans living on the edge, it’s a borderline luxury.

    A 2009 study looked at sexually active American women of modest means, ages 18 to 34, whose economic circumstances had deteriorated. Three-quarters said that they could not afford a baby then. Yet 30 percent had put off a gynecological or family-planning visit to save money. More horrifying, of those using the pill, one-quarter said that they economized by not taking it every day. (My data is from the Guttmacher Institute, a nonpartisan research organization on issues of sexual health.)

    One-third of women in another survey said they would switch birth control methods if not for the cost. Nearly half of those women were relying on condoms, and others on nothing more than withdrawal.

    The cost of birth control is one reason poor women are more than three times as likely to end up pregnant unintentionally as middle-class women.

    In short, birth control is not a frill that can be lightly dropped to avoid offending bishops. Coverage for contraception should be a pillar of our public health policy — and, it seems to me, of any faith-based effort to be our brother’s keeper, or our sister’s.

    To understand the centrality of birth control, consider that every dollar that the United States government spends on family planning reduces Medicaid expenditures by $3.74, according to Guttmacher. Likewise, the National Business Group on Health estimated that it costs employers at least an extra 15 percent if they don’t cover contraception in their health plans.

  68. Cardinal Mistake: Bishops’ Conference President Hectors Church Members To Go Political
    March 05, 2012
    by Rob Boston
    http://www.au.org/blogs/wall-of-separation/cardinal-mistake-bishops%E2%80%99-conference-president-hectors-church-members-to-go

    Excerpts:
    It’s still hard for me to believe that in light of the sluggish economic recovery, ongoing worries over jobs and mounting home foreclosures that most Americans are interested in a protracted discussion over access to contraceptives.

    Yet here we are. The issue simply will not go away, chiefly because some misguided clergy won’t let it die.

    Over the weekend, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York City fired yet another salvo. Speaking at a church meeting focused on public policy on Saturday, Dolan said, “We are called to be very active, very informed and very involved in politics.”

    The New York Times reported that Dolan blasted American culture because it “seems to discover new rights every day.” He even denied there is any right to marriage and added, “Now we hear there’s a right to sterilization, abortion and chemical contraceptives. I suppose there might be a doctor who would say to a man who’s suffering some type of sexual dysfunction, ‘You ought to visit a prostitute to help you.’”

    Over-the-top rhetoric like this isn’t helping the cardinal’s case. And since he doesn’t get what type of “rights” we’re talking about, let me explain it one more time: It’s the right to live our lives as we see fit, without personal decisions like health care, sexuality and family size being subjected to control by heavy-handed clerics wielding repressive theology like a club.

    It’s true the Constitution says nothing about artificial birth control. This is not surprising, since it didn’t exist when that document was written. That’s not the point. The point is that the Constitution does grant us the right to live our lives and make our own decisions free from government-imposed theology.

    *****

    One of the great ironies about this entire debate has been that the bishops are attempting to impose a policy on all Americans that they haven’t even been able to persuade their own members to adopt. They have gone so far as to back a bill that would allow any private employer in this country to refuse to pay for any religious practice that offends his or her personal beliefs. If adopted, this policy would subject the health care of millions of workers to whatever theology the boss in the corner office or some nameless CEO happened to adopt.

    That’s the church hierarchy’s definition of “religious freedom” – their freedom to use government policies to impose their dogma on you.

  69. “One of the great ironies about this entire debate has been that the bishops are attempting to impose a policy on all Americans that they haven’t even been able to persuade their own members to adopt.’

    Spot on, Elaine.

    The have exchanged the pulpit for the podium, the jawbone of a jackass for their own.

  70. Murkowski Regrets Voting For Blunt’s ‘Religious Conscience’ Measure: ‘I Have Let These Women Down’
    By Igor Volsky on Mar 6, 2012
    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/03/06/438394/murkowski-regrets-voting-for-blunts-religious-conscience-measure-i-have-let-these-women-down/

    Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski told a local newspaper yesterday that she regrets her vote for the so-called Blunt amendment, the GOP’s alternative to President Obama’s rule requiring employers to provide contraception coverage as part of their health care insurance plans. Under the amendment, which the Senate tabled with the help of just one Republican, employers would have been empowered to deny coverage of health services to their employees on the basis of personal moral objections.

    “I have never had a vote I’ve taken where I have felt that I let down more people that believed in me,” Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News’ Julia O’Malley, claiming that the amendment’s language went “overboard”:

    “If you had it to do over again, having had the weekend that you had with women being upset about the vote, do you think you would have voted the same?” I asked.

    “No,” she said.

    Murkowski said she believes contraception should be covered and affordable, except when it comes to churches and religiously affiliated organizations, like some universities and hospitals. She sponsored a contraception coverage bill as a state legislator in 2002. That bill exempted “religious employers.” She said her position hasn’t changed.

    “I have always said if you don’t like abortion the best way to deal with it is to not have unwanted pregnancies in the first place,” she said. “How do you do that? It’s through contraception.”

    I pointed out that her support for birth control conflicts with the Catholic mandate against it. “You know, I don’t adhere to all of the tenets of my faith. I’m a Republican, I don’t adhere to all of the principles that come out of my party,” she said. “I’m also not hesitant to question when I think that my church, my religion, is not current.”

    Murkowski called the Blunt Amendment a “messaging amendment” that “both sides know is not going to pass” and said “Republicans didn’t have enough sense to get off of it.” She also condemned Rush Limbaugh’s deragatory comments about a Georgetown law student testifying in favor of greater access to birth control. “I think women when they hear…mouthpieces like that say things like that they get concerned and they look to policymakers,” she said. “That’s where I feel like I have let these women down is that I have not helped to give these women the assurance they need that their health care rights are protected.”

  71. What we are seeing is a Church divided against itself. Whatever is divided against its self can’t stand. They have sex with a human that is young, and others have sex with the same sex, and other species. it is all a form of sex. We should let whoever make up their mind what kind of sex they want to do with human law freely allowing whoever to engage in whatever sex. Then the conflict war against the sexualities including zoosexuality will stop. Peace, what God seeks will be the result. I believe the marriage thing its self has been perverted by the church. When Jesus says the word cleave he is meaning having sex. When they are one no one one should stop them from having sex.That is what is meant by no man shall put them asunder. God wants us to make babies. In that the Bishops and priests are right. They have not given biblical support for not having birth control.

    kjv, Luke 2:23;(As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;

  72. Money is evil period. Give to God what is Gods should be the mantra of mall of us. When a human gives has God in them giving to a human that has God in them in spirit. Have all in the world giving to each other even as nature gives to us, and money will no longer be an issue. Then the money would be burned to dust, and given to the humans whose images are on them being in the ground turned to dust.

    Doing this requires no money at all
    Matthew 7:7;7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

  73. Money is evil period. Give to God what is Gods should be the mantra of all of us. When a human gives has God in them giving to a human that has God in them in spirit. Have all in the world giving to each other even as nature gives to us, and money will no longer be an issue. Then the money would be burned to dust, and given to the humans whose images are on them being in the ground turned to dust.

    Doing this requires no money at all
    Matthew 7:7;7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

  74. Bad Back? Take a Break. Pregnant? Take a Hike.
    Posted on March 05, 2012 |
    Posted by:
    Emily Martin, Vice President and General Counsel
    National Women’s Law Center
    http://www.nwlc.org/our-blog/bad-back-take-break-pregnant-take-hike

    Excerpt:
    The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) requires that employers treat pregnant employees at least as well as they treat employees “similar in their ability or inability to work”—so Peggy Young, a part-time UPS driver who needed to avoid lifting more than twenty pounds during part of her pregnancy, might have thought that her employer was bound by law to make that accommodation, given that UPS had a policy of giving light duty to various other employees who were physically unable to do their usual job. Under UPS’s policy, employee who had been injured on the job were entitled to light duty, as were employees with a qualifying disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and employees who were injured off the job and failed a Department of Transportation medical exam. But UPS disagreed and forced her to take unpaid leave for the duration of her pregnancy. As a result, she also lost her medical coverage, months prior to the birth of her child. Then, she lost her pregnancy discrimination case, when the district court ruled that UPS could adopt “pregnancy blind” rules that allowed some employees similar to Peggy Young in their ability to work to go on light duty, while blocking Peggy Young from receiving the same accommodation.

    The National Women’s Law Center joined the ACLU Women’s Rights Project and others today in a friend-of-the-court brief urging the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to take the language of the PDA seriously and reverse the district court. Congress adopted the PDA in 1978, forcefully rejecting Supreme Court decisions that concluded that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy did not constitute unlawful sex discrimination, but rather discrimination between “pregnant and nonpregnant persons.” The PDA states that discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions constitutes sex discrimination and further provides that pregnancy cannot be treated worse than other disabilities that similarly affect an employee’s ability to do the job. In passing the PDA, one of Congress’s targets was employee benefit programs that provided insurance coverage, for example, to cover a host of disabling conditions, but not pregnancy.

  75. There are some lessons here. Advise your kids, friends and neighbors not to attend a Cathjolic school, iuniversituy. hospital, day care center, old folks home or gambling casino.

  76. PatricParamedic: “Although his co-pay was a mere $1,100 on a $19,000 bill, he was fretting over some of the charges. Of course he had every right to, since his coded bill included, among other cute little ditties, $98 for an egg-crate foam bed pad; $128 dollars for rolls of Transpore IV tape; and something like $27 for ‘mucous recovery systems’ (that would be a box of Kleenex)”
    ——

    I have read that this as was a response to insurance company’s rules regarding reimbursement and too-low caps on payments for the cause of the treatment. As well, the added cost is too make up emergency care for non-insured patients and non- reimbursable costs (from various levels of government) for the same.

    I have also read on the AMA’s site some discussion that the requirement for multiple operations are to satisfy insurance company reimbursement requirements and the discussion was not in favor of this practice. It puts the patient at risk and generates needless work.

    It also makes it easy to pad the books with multiple operations not all of which are necessary if that’s the inclination.

    I was doing research on the multiple operation thing the last time the better half was ill so its been a couple of years but i came away with the conclusion that doctors hate insurance companies and that insurance companies are in the driver’s seat regarding much of the treatment a patient gets and how it is provided.

    I’m a ‘universal coverage’ advocate; It may well have many of the same problems but the overhead would be less, more people would have access and coverage would be more consistent.

  77. Elaine, Thanks for posting so many great links and articles, I’d like to respond to “Murkowski Regrets”.

    I’m sick of hearing this from elected officials, it’s a way for them to have it both ways. They get to support bad legislation and reap whatever benefit comes from that as well as pacifying voters unhappy with their vote by saying ‘I didn’t know’, ‘that’s not my understanding’, I’m too busy to read everything’ and ‘I wouldn’t have done it if I had known’.

    That’s all BS and becoming more and more common. Fire them for incompetence if not their actual position IMO, they should at least know what they are voting on. Would you retain a worker in a position of responsibility in your company that didn’t read a proposed contract or didn’t understand it before signing it as your fiduciary? Not more than once and not once if it worked a hardship on my company, but that’s just me.

  78. Raf, LOL, I read your comment and my first, reflexive thought was ‘how did Palin get in this conversation?’ Srsly, it’s getting tough for some of us to keep the hypocrites straight.

  79. Murkowski just pulling a Limbaugh. Sh got enough bad feedback she hd to backtrack. What hppens when it is for a bill like this that passes? Then an apology will be even more worthless. Thanks for postig that.

  80. I believe the time will come, that if women want to keep their rights, and the general, NORMAL, population of sexually active humans wants to get the church out of their bedrooms, they’ll have to start killing, or otherwise eliminating, Catholic Bishops…… Old men in dresses, with no sexual experience, and no responsibility for raising children, should have no say at all on the subject. They can fantasize all they want about their imaginary ghod, Jesus, but about reproduction, they need to just STFU!!!! They don’t posses the necessary information.

  81. (First sorry about all the typos, my keyboard wants to censor a lot of my letters ((*_*)) )
    I just left the post about Holder and presidents not having military and war experience. Maybe we need to round up all the people who have no experience in the areas in which they profess knowledge and righteousness, or send others to do in their name (our name) and force them, for the pres and congress, etc, to put on the outfit and take the guns, and for the bishops, make them have sex. (and maybe a baby that they do not want, cannot afford to acknowledge or cannot afford or take care of. Maybe a fetus that is found to have tay sachs or incompatible with life deformities on ultrasound early on. Sure would change a lot of sensibilities, and a lot less ‘do what I say, not what I do’ (or rather have not done.).

  82. Expanding Catholic Hospitals Put Reproductive Care, Women’s Health at Risk
    3/8/12
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/03/08/1072479/-Expanding-Catholic-Hospitals-Put-Reproductive-Care-Women-s-Health-at-Risk

    Excerpt:
    For the last several weeks, all eyes have been focused on the high-profile clash between Catholic bishops (if not their parishioners) and the Obama administration over mandated insurance coverage for contraception at their non-church institutions. But in cities and towns across the country, a second battlefront is jeopardizing access to essential reproductive care for millions of American women. As the New York Times and the New Republic each recently documented, the expansion of Catholic hospitals nationwide is putting women’s reproductive care – and in some cases, their lives – at risk.

    For over a hundred years, Catholic hospitals have been one of the cornerstones of the U.S. health system, providing care to tens of millions of Americans of all faiths, races and ethnicities. TNR’s Jonathan Cohn explained just how big a role they play and the public support they enjoy in return:

    Today, Catholic hospitals supply 15 percent of the nation’s hospital beds, and Catholic hospital systems own 12 percent of the nation’s community hospitals, which means, according to one popularly cited estimate, that about one in six Americans get treatment at a Catholic hospital at some point each year. We now depend upon Catholic hospitals to provide vital services–not just direct care of patients, but also the training of new doctors and assistance to the needy. In exchange, these institutions receive considerable public funding. In addition to the tax breaks to which all nonprofit institutions are entitled, Catholic hospitals also receive taxpayer dollars via public insurance programs like Medicare and Medicaid, as well as myriad federal programs that provide extra subsidies for such things as indigent care and medical research. (Older institutions also benefited from the 1946 Hill-Burton Act, which financed hospital construction for several decades.)

    But increasingly, Cohn cautioned, “the dual mandates of these institutions–to heal the body and to nurture the spirit, to perform public functions but maintain private identities–are difficult to reconcile.” For many communities, a Catholic facility is already the only choice. And with the accelerating trend of hospital mergers and partnerships, policies forbidding contraception, abortion and sterilization are becoming the norm at formerly public hospitals. In cities around America, the result is growing confusion for physicians and greater risk for their patients.

  83. Oro Lee, I’m coming in here very belatedly to read (Thank you very much Elaine M, for this invaluable article) and peruse comments on this post. I want to vote with Gene H, Mike Spindell, and the others who have weighed in to show their appreciation to you and for you. Especially, thank you for being a conscientious guardian ad litem for at risk and abused children — how much that is a mission above all others! (Who knows: choosing a divine savior during one’s adult life may very well start with having had mortal human beings reach out to you first, when you were a child.)

  84. 43 Catholic Institutions File 12 Separate Lawsuits Against Obama’s Birth Control Rule | The University of Notre Dame, Catholic University of America, the Archdiocese of Michigan, and the Archdiocese of New York have filed a lawsuit against an Obama administration regulation requiring employers and insurers to offer preventing health services — including contraception — without additional cost sharing. The suit, one of 12 filed Monday, argues that the requirement violates the Catholic institutions’ religious freedom– even though regulators have includes an accommodation for religious organizations. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has called the challenges “unbelievable” and claimed, “This isn’t a religious or political issue – it’s a medical issue, and that’s where we should keep it.” An overwhelming majority of Americans — and Catholics — support the coverage rule.

    http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/05/21/487861/catholic-institutions-file-13-lawsuits-against-obamas-birth-control-rule/

  85. How long and how many damaged and dead women will it take for a government mandated investigation of all Catholic affiliated Hospitals to take place. The upholding of draconian Roman Catholic religious dogmas should not be the basis for proper health and lifesaving medical decisions.

    Why is it that when it is already known that women are dying or suffering serious health damage in those Catholic affiliated Hospitals that this is allowed to go on? Is that not criminal or murder when women are allowed to suffer or die from the withholding of lifesaving services? What are Hospitals for? Religious Dogmas have no place in Hospitals. Also, those physcians who are against all those lifesaving priocedures for women should never become OBGYNs. Those against contraceptives, etc. should also not become pharmacists.

    When are we going to enforce the Establishment Claluse of the First Amendment to save women’s health and lives?

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