YOUR DAILY DOSE OF CONSERVATIVE HYPOCRISY: CATHOLIC HEALTH INITIATIVES REFUSED TO PROVIDE CONTRACEPTION ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS BUT ADMITS FETUSES ARE NOT PEOPLE TO WIN LAWSUIT AGAINST JEREMY STODGHILL
I tell the longer I’m in hell the less and less shocked I am about things like this.
In the aftermath of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009, aka ObamaCare, there was an uproar from Catholic medical facilities concerning providing contraceptive devices and medications to female employees under their health insurance plans. This was mandated by HHS in ObamaCare at the time without waiver. Shouts that this was a violation of their freedom to practice religion echoed from nearly every Diocese in America. One major Catholic medical employer, Catholic Health Initiatives made this statement on their web page in February 2012:
Following the Jan. 20 HHS announcement on religious employer exemptions from the rule on preventive health services for women, CHI expressed its concern about the lack of clarity on conscience protections.
On Feb. 10, the White House issued a revision to the rule. Under this latest policy, religious organizations will not have to provide contraceptive coverage or refer their employees to organizations that provide contraception. These organizations will also not be required to subsidize the cost of contraception. However, the rule states that contraceptive coverage will be offered to women by their employers’ insurance company directly, which would theoretically remove the role of the religious employer who is opposed to contraception. Insurance companies would be required to provide contraceptive coverage to women without charge.
CHI is analyzing the new rule to gain an understanding of what the impact will be on self-insured organizations such as CHI. Until CHI has a clear understanding of the impact on self-insured organizations, it would be premature to issue a position on the new rule. CHI is hopeful that self-insured organizations such as CHI will be exempted from violating their beliefs while being in compliance with the law.
Okay as a position of their religious beliefs they do not wish to have contraception as a part of their health care plans. I get it. But, wait, there’s more:
Matthew Grimshaw, president and CEO of Mercy Medical Center, a Catholic hospital in Williston, said he was unable to comment about possible local ramifications, but said that he affirms a statement issued by Catholic Health Association President Sister Carol Keehan, which said, “The impact of being told we do not fit the new definition of a religious employer and therefore cannot operate our ministries following our consciences has jolted us.”
The new mandate is a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Keehan supported in defiance of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in the spring of 2010.
Mercy Medical Center employs about 450 people and serves about 60,000 in North Dakota and Montana. It is owned by Catholic Health Initiatives, a Catholic, non-profit health organization which owns 76 hospitals in 19 states.
“I’m sure (the administration’s officials) are fully prepared, as would the Catholic Church be, to take this to court. We will take it to the Supreme Court if we have to. I can’t imagine a president who is supposed to be a constitutional lawyer, and actually taught constitutional law in a university, considering something like this. It’s mind-boggling,” Kagan said.
And the outrage of having their beliefs violated continues:
Leaders at Memorial Health Care System, the largest local institution affected by the ruling, said they are working to gain clarity on the ruling. The hospital, which has about 4,500 employees, is part of Catholic Health Initiatives.
In a statement, Memorial President and Chief Executive James H. Hobson said he hopes a resolution will protect Catholic hospitals and health organizations from violating their beliefs while being in compliance with the law.
“The challenge that these regulations pose for many groups remains unresolved,” Hobson said. “This indicates the need for an effective national conversation on the appropriate conscience protections in our pluralistic country, which has always respected the role of religions.”
Need more? I’ve got plenty more:
“We have always supported the clear and consistent teachings of the Catholic Church regarding the inherent dignity of all human life,” said Briar Cliff President Beverly A. Wharton. “We also hold with highest regard the God-given right to religious liberty acknowledged in the U.S. Constitution.”
The Obama administration, in making its decision, relied on the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, which concluded that birth control is medically necessary. But the Roman Catholic Church considers it morally wrong to prevent conception by any artificial means, including birth control pills, condoms, IUDs and sterilization.
That means Catholic-affiliated hospitals also might be drawn into the debate. A spokesman for Tenet Healthcare, which owns about 75 percent of Creighton University Medical Center, declined to comment. Alegent Health officials could not be reached for comment Wednesday. Alegent is a faith-based system partially sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives.
Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha has joined the battle. While church leaders here are letting the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops lead the national fight, Lucas sent a letter to pastors that was read aloud Sunday during Mass at 147 parishes. The letter asks Catholics in the Omaha Archdiocese to pray about the issue and to contact their congressional representatives to pass legislation overturning the rule.
“In generations past, the church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties,” Lucas wrote. “I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same.”
Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz also issued a letter calling on Roman Catholics to fight the federal decision.
Okay, I have to be boring you with beating the same dead horse over and over again. It’s clear that on matters of conscience Catholics don’t believe contraception, in any form, should be provided by the health care entity supporting Catholic medical facility workers. QED.
For the sake of clarity I need to review the position of the Roman Catholic Church in regard to when life is considered to begin:
The teaching that life in the womb is sacred has been consistently taught by the Church from the beginning and is reflected in the opposition of the Church for twenty centuries to abortion; please consult the oldest catechism instruction of the Church, outside the Sacred Scriptures, called the Didache or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles from the First Century A.D.; it reads as follows: ‘‘Do not kill a fetus by abortion, or commit infanticide’’ (Didache, 2:2); also, noted patristic scholars are in agreement that St. Augustine probably knew the Didache and may have used it as a source in writing his own First Catechetical Instruction.
I think we have all been fully instructed in the ideology that catholics, on their Faith, believe that a fetus is for all intents and purposes a person. Then now I have this conundrum crawling up my neck at the curious case of Jeremy Stodghill and his deceased wife Lori Stodghill and their two unborn sons. Be forewarned, this is a shocker:
Life begins at conception, according to the Catholic Church, but in a wrongful death suit in Colorado, a Catholic health care company has argued just the opposite.
A fetus is not legally a person until it is born, the hospital’s lawyers have claimed in its defense. And now it may be up to the state’s Supreme Court to decide.
Lori Stodghill was 28 weeks pregnant when she went to the emergency room of St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City vomiting and short of breath, according to a court document. She went into cardiac arrest in the lobby.
“Lori looked up at me, and then her head went down on her chest,” said her husband, Jeremy Stodghill.
She died at age 31. Her unborn twin boys perished with her. That was New Year’s Day 2006.
Stodghill, left behind to raise their then-2-year-old daughter alone, sued the hospital and its owner, Catholic Health Initiatives, for the wrongful deaths of all three.
After about two years of litigation, defense attorneys for the hospital and doctors entered an argument that shocked the widower.
They said that under state law, an embryo is not person until it is born alive, according to court documents. The Stodghills’ twins were deceased when they were removed from their mother’s lifeless body.
“I didn’t even get to hold them,” Jeremy Stodghill said. “I have an autopsy picture. That’s all I’ve got.”
The court agreed with the argument, and Stodghill lost the suit. The court also ruled against Stodghill in the case of his wife for other legal reasons.
The hospital and doctors then sued him for over $118,000 legal fees and attempted to garnish his wages, according to a legal document filed on his behalf.
The defendants offered to forget the fees if Stodghill dropped his appeal. He refused and filed for bankruptcy to avoid having to pay the claim, which he says he can’t afford as he struggles to raise his now-9-year-old daughter, Libby.
Stodghill has petitioned the Colorado Supreme Court to hear his case, and he’d like to hear from the Catholic Church.
Representatives of the Catholic bishops of Colorado declined to comment on the legal proceedings, but said they will review the litigation and Catholic Health Initiatives’ practices “to ensure fidelity and faithful witness to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”
Catholic Health Initiatives would not speak to CNN on camera, but said in a statement, “In this case… as Catholic organizations, (we) are in union with the moral teachings of the Church.”
I don’t know about you but the last bold sentence in the Stodghill piece from CNN makes it all too clear to me that the Catholic Church at least in this case, put money far ahead of its beliefs. But maybe I’m wrong and it just isn’t in this case? The great Catholic social control con for profit is slowly but surely coming to a torturous end right here at the start of the 21st Century just as it was predicted many thousands of years ago. Not to sound too clearly gleeful but I told you so.
I wonder if Mark Edward Noonan has an answer for this that is suitably well grounded in reason and yet allows him to remain a Catholic both in his heart and in his political ideology? My bet is that he doesn;t because to even attempt to explain this would shatter his world view like a neutron bomb would obliterate a gnat. And this boys and girls brings you favorite Jewish blogger to his point. Conservatives cannot argue with facts to support their beliefs because their beliefs are far and away more situational than any Progressive’s. Pro-Life yet pro death penalty? Follow the Prince of Peace but lust for war and make near deities out of soldiers. Would blow up abortion clinics but think all Muslims are terrorists because of 9/11. Swear they aren’t bigots but consider the first person of color elected President to not have been “natural born.” I challenge Mr Noonan to get within a thousand miles of this bit of hypocrisy but of course he won’t out of the sheer terror that his worldview is wrong.
Fredrick Schwartz, D.S.V.J., CS, O.Q.H [Journ.]
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