Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
09.23 MARYLAND GOVERNOR REBUFFS CALL FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO BRETT KAVANAUGH ATTEMPTED RAPE ALLEGATIONS [Republicans above the law...]
09.19 'Killing a generation': one million more children at risk from famine in Yemen [Does America's government have empathy? Does it understand the concept of morality? The Saudi Air Force would be ineffective without U.S. military assistance...]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
International & Futurism
09.18 Racist rioting in Chemnitz has reopened Germany’s east-west split [After 10,000 generations, we are all mixed-race. So let's become friends with our cousins instead!]
Catholic Bishops’ Faustian Bargain: “Burn Health Care Reform” to Advance Anti-Choice Cause
First published in his blog Unsilent Generation yesterday, 9 November 2009
Ad from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
We now know that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which in the end reports to Rome, was intimately involved in the crafting and promotion of the Stupak Amendment, which turned a tepid health care victory for the Democrats into a serious loss for women’s reproductive rights. Jessica Arons, director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, writes today that the measure “potentially goes farther than any other federal law to restrict women’s access to abortion” by effectively guaranteeing that virtually all insurance plans will refuse to pay for the procedure in the future.
Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, despairs of what he calls the American bishops’ “obsession” with sex and sexual politics. In an interview today, he said these bishops are supposed to be dedicated to the sick, poor, and vulnerable, all of whom desperately need decent health care. Yet they have shown themselves willing “to burn health care reform” over the abortion issue–a postion that places them out of line with the majority of lay Catholics.
O’Brien points out that a recent poll, commissioned by the organization, shows that “while Catholic voters are split on President Obama’s ideas for healthcare reform, they do want to see costs lowered and overwhelmingly support a government plan that would make health insurance available to the uninsured.” In addition:
The poll also found that “large majorities of Catholic voters support health insurance coverage for abortions—either in a private or a government-run scheme” in order to protect the life or health of the mother, in cases of rape and incest, or when tests show a fetus has a severe abnormal condition. And they are evenly split, 50-50, on “whether insurance plans should cover abortion whenever a woman and her doctor decide it is appropriate.”
What this means is that American public policy on health care and reproductive rights is being shaped not by a majority of voters or even a majority of Catholic voters, but by a bunch of celibate men in robes, and a reactionary 82-year-old German in the Vatican.
Born in 1936, James Ridgeway has been reporting on politics for more than 45 years. He is currently Senior Washington Correspondent for Mother Jones, and recently wrote a blog on the 2008 presidential election for the Guardian online. He previously served as Washington Correspondent for the Village Voice; wrote for Ramparts and The New Republic; and founded and edited two independent newsletters, Hard Times and The Elements.
Ridgeway is the author of 16 books, including The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11, It’s All for Sale: The Control of Global Resources, and Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture. He co-directed a companion film to Blood in the Face and a second documentary film, Feed, and has co-produced web videos for GuardianFilms.
Additional information and samples of James Ridgeway’s work can be found on his web site, http://jamesridgeway.net.
This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on November 10, 2009.
Public Service Ads: