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‘We Oppose Plan B’

01/18/2009 Comment

Hartford Archbishop Henry Mansell and Conn. bishops Basil Losten and Michael Cote pray at Fr. Michael McGivney’s tomb Jan. 18.

Hartford, Conn., Archbishop Henry Mansell celebrated the Knights of Columbus Pro-Life Mass at St. Mary’s Church in New Haven today, and took on a Conn. plan to oppose President Bush’s pro-life conscience rule.

In his homily, he mentioned that Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is leading an effort to force Catholic doctors to violate their consciences, even when it comes to life-and-death matters like abortion and abortifacient contraceptives.

Blumenthal has been claiming that the freedoms granted by Bush’s federal regulation would override a 2007 Conn. law that denies those freedoms to health-care workers, even at Catholic hospitals.

Archbishop Mansell pointed out that Blumenthal has been misleading reporters, saying that the Catholic Church, “endorsed” the Plan B law, which would force Catholic hospitals to administer potentially abortifacient drugs to rape victims.

Said Archbishop Mansell, “We fought Plan B. We never endorsed it. We continue to oppose it.” Catholic hospitals were forced by scientific uncertainty to go along with the law, he said, but that fact does not constitute an endorsement.

Connecticut and six other states filed a lawsuit Jan. 16 to prevent Catholic and other health-care workers from having the freedom to turn down immoral medical practices. The ACLU also opposes doctors’ right to follow their moral convictions with regard to contraception and abortion.

Obama’s administration has also signaled that they support stripping Catholic doctors and hospitals of conscience rights. Obama has promised that his first priority will be FOCA. That’s the radical pro-abortion legislation designed to further enrich the abortion industry by removing via federal fiat all legal restrictions (even safety regulations) on abortion.

In the rest of his remarks, Archbishop Mansell cited statistics showing the prevalence of young pro-life activists and compared the situation the unborn find themselves in to the “miracle on the Hudson.”

“The tremendous response from rescue workers in boats, and even helicopters, shows the way to respond when human life is in danger.” He said the Catholic Church, in its many services for the poor and for unwed mothers, is already responding in just that way to the unborn.

He promoted a Church postcard initiative aimed at opposing FOCA.

— Tom Hoopes

Filed under conscience rights, plan b

About Guest Blogger/Tom Hoopes

Tom  Hoopes
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Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.