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.


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. Murkowski Regrets Voting For Blunt’s ‘Religious Conscience’ Measure: ‘I Have Let These Women Down’
    By Igor Volsky on Mar 6, 2012

    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.”

  2. “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.

    1. 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;

  3. Cardinal Mistake: Bishops’ Conference President Hectors Church Members To Go Political
    March 05, 2012
    by Rob Boston

    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.

  4. Beyond Pelvic Politics
    Published: February 11, 2012

    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.

  5. Women’s Health Care at Risk
    Published: February 28, 2012

    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.

    1. 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?

    2. 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?

  6. 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.

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

  8. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. 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.

  9. 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%.

  10. 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.

  11. Delaware Council Approves ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred’ Resolution To Poke Fun At ‘Personhood’ Movement
    By Igor Volsky on Mar 5,

    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“…

  12. 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.”

    1. The horrible side effects from Viagra. What would you expect from a sorcerer brew. Have us have U,C,S, care,and walk around naked whenever, and wherever we want,get the nutrients that suggested in the nutrition almanac,and erectile problems would be less.

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

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