Thursday, December 31, 2009

Back to Catholic Hospitals . . .

In earlier blog posts here and here, I linked to efforts to get to the bottom of the New York Times story about a rift between the American Catholic Bishops' position on the current Health Care bill and the position of the Catholic Health Association and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The CHA was quick to deny that it had equivocated on the issue of abortion. Like others, I was relieved to hear that the Times' story was overblown.

Alas, it might not have been. This will be my last post on this unpleasant subject. I just don't have the heart to follow the depressing money trail. Since I raised the issue, however, I feel obliged to link to this sad follow-up. This may bounce around for a while before the reality of the situation is finally revealed, but after this you're on your own. I find this kind of thing tremendously disheartening.

Here's the latest I've seen, a piece by Theodore Kettle, entitled "Catholic Hospitals' Pro-Abortion Money Trail":
The New York Times dropped coal in Catholic pro-life stockings on Christmas Day with an article reporting a split on abortion between the U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference and the Catholic Health Association, which represents about 600 Catholic hospitals.

CHA president Sister Carol Keehan had issued a statement that said, “now that a public health insurance option is no longer on the table” in the Senate’s health care reform bill, the CHA is “increasingly confident” that a compromise formulated by Catholic Democratic Sen. Robert Casey of Pennsylvania “can achieve the objective of no federal funding for abortion.”

Pro-life activists call Casey’s proposal phony. National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson, for example, said the Casey language “apparently would make it the default position for the federal government to subsidize plans that cover abortion on demand, and then permit individual citizens to apply for conscientious objector status.”

A year ago, Keehan defended ill-fated Obama HHS nominee Tom Daschle and his choice for deputy health care director Jeanne Lambrew, both abortion rights supporters.

But after last week’s New York Times story, Keehan claimed that the CHA is committed to health care for human life “from conception to natural death,” adding that “There is not a shred of disagreement between CHA and the bishops.”

A look at the campaign contributions of the governing board members of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, however, tells a very different story.
There's more. The rest of the article is here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are Catholic Hospitals doing much to provide alternatives for poor pregnant women? A popular argument for federally subsidized abortions is that only the middle and upper classes will be able to afford them. I know where I live there is such a facility, but it doesn't receive much in the way of publicity or dollars. Thanks for posting this.