Today, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are celebrating the installation of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput O.F.M. The question thus arises why Nicholas P. Cafardi, Dean Emeritus of the Duquesne Law School, would publish an op-ed in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer both maligning and accusing Archbishop Chaput of propagating a “one-issue” Catholic Church. That issue, of course, is abortion, a practice that Archbishop Chaput has consistently reminded all Catholics, including Catholic politicians, should be opposed rather than supported.
To imply that Archbishop Chaput does not care about the “broad spectrum of values,” such as caring for the poor and immigrants, is simply silly. This accusation will gain no traction among those who know the archbishop and his 23 years of revitalizing the dioceses of Rapid City, South Dakota and Denver, Colorado. It’s the predictable accusation of Catholics, like Carfardi, who have publicly supported political candidates, such as Barack Obama, with indisputable records of support for abortion. (more…)
It is well known the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) forces health care plans to provide coverage of abortion and use our tax dollars to pay for abortion. In addition, PPACA does not protect the conscience rights of health care insurers, providers, and personnel who decline to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.
In response, H.R. 1179, the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011, was introduced by Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R, NE-01) on March 17, 2011. The Senate companion legislation is S. 1467 by the same name.
The legislation amends PPACA “to permit a health plan to decline coverage of specific items and services that are contrary to the religious beliefs of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan or the purchaser or beneficiary (in the case of individual coverage) without penalty.”
It also applies similar guidance to the state health insurance exchange programs and becomes retroactive to when PPACA was signed into law by President Obama as if the language was included.
President Obama and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sabelius, a Catholic, are rushing to ensure the people are not heard and this critical piece of legislation never reaches the President’s desk. On February 18, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Services used its regulatory power to remove what was left of conscience rights for health care professionals. On August 1, 2011, they also issued orders requiring health plans to cover contraception and sterilization and on January 20, 2012 that rule became official.
We must speak out and protect our conscience rights!
Click here to contact Congress today.