Delivery Choices

Regarding “Real Reproductive Choice” (Nov. 22): Thank you for bringing light to such an important issue. As a Catholic wife and mother who is open to life, I found it important to give birth vaginally after my first cesarean to reduce the risks of complications with future pregnancies.

In her article, Agnes Penny cites the 2004 International Cesarean Awareness Network study that found 300 hospitals in the United States have official bans of vaginal birth after cesarean. As of 2009, more than 800 hospitals have official bans on vaginal birth after cesarean, and an additional 400 hospitals have de facto bans, meaning that there is no official policy but there are no doctors willing to attend vaginal birth after cesarean.

More information on these bans is available at ICAN-online.org/vbac-ban-info.

Lily Beck

St. Louis, Missouri


Kennedy-Bishop Conflict

Regarding “Bishop Tobin Asks Kennedy: What Does It Mean to Be Catholic?” (Daily Blog, Nov. 11):

I would like to remind all pro-abortion Catholic politicians, including Kennedy, of Jesus’ words to his disciples: “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16).

When Catholics reject the teachings of the Pope and bishops in union with the Pope, they are rejecting Jesus.

Yeonglan Gemma Droual

Hughson, California


Reform Caution

Regarding “Stupak Amendment Stays” (Nov. 22):

Beware the wolf in sheep’s clothing. The recent insistence by the bishops’ conference to add the Stupak amendment to the recently passed House bill for supposed health-care reform is commendable. However, many Catholic citizens and leaders support this legislation without fully reflecting on the consequences of implementing this type of government-controlled plan.

Good intentions do not necessarily result in good and just policies. Catholics should be good students of history. How many times have the promises of equality for the worker, benefits for the poor and compassion for the downtrodden resulted in increased suffering for all?

The utopian ideal of “equal things” for all has been the mantra of charismatic and powerful leaders through the ages. It’s called communism, and it is a grave error. It always ends just as George Orwell’s fable of the animals did.

The founders of the United States recognized human nature. They were well versed in history and knowledge of concepts like human rights based on God’s laws, not laws based on the capricious whims of the state.

Karolee Stauduhar

Longwood, Florida


Mary’s Coup

Regarding “Stupak Amendment Stays” (Nov. 22):

Our Blessed Mother did it again. Through her intercession (and the prayers of her pro-life children), the Stupak amendment was passed. The Stupak amendment barred the use of federal funds from paying for most abortions in the House’s health-care reform legislation.

It’s interesting that this latest coup came on the 20th anniversary of the fall of communism in Europe and its symbol: the Berlin Wall.

Mary had promised the children at Fatima that it would be clear to everyone that this would come about through her intercession. The suddenness of the collapse of the Iron Curtain for no apparent reason shows to all who have the eyes of faith that, indeed, it was Mary’s coup.

From the miracle at the Wedding Feast of Cana to the Battle of Lepanto to the relinquishing of power by the communists in Austria in 1955, Brazil in 1964 and in Portugal in 1974 to the present day, Mary has shown her maternal love for her children who turn to her for help — especially through the Rosary.

Let’s never doubt the power of this indomitable Mother who watches over each one of us so tenderly.

Mary Irving

Port St. Lucie, Florida


Path to Destruction

Regarding “House Passes Health-Care Bill, So What’s a Catholic to Do?” (Daily Blog, Nov. 9):

Catholics must remain vigilant and continue to insist that any health-care reform bill be void of abortion, contain conscience rights and be “good” for America.

The current bills do not provide “health care” reform, but are power-grabbing tax-and-spend bills designed to lead to single-payer universal health care. They are economically destructive to this country.

Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration are not being “straight” with the people on this bill.

Continue to ignore what is said and watch what they do. Tell your congressional leaders to vote down this bill and start over with what the people in the town halls have said they want — and pray for this country.

Al Wunsch

The Villages, Florida


Appalling Response

I am appalled at the response of Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (“Rep. Kennedy vs. the Church,” Daily Blog, Oct. 24).

What does he think abortion is, if it doesn’t kill innocent life (babies) in the womb? I can’t believe he is Catholic and made a statement like that. He accused the USCCB of not being pro-life.

If I were a citizen of Rhode Island, I’d be looking for a new representative.

Larry Stadtfeld

Ogden, Utah


Keep Us Posted

The article on the passing of the health bill (“House Passes Health-Care Bill, So What’s a Catholic to Do?” Daily Blog, Nov. 9) is very good. 

My question is: Will you be covering other items in the bill that are very detrimental to our families as well as our personal freedoms?

It is right to say that the pro-life amendment is the most important, yet we must also keep all Catholics up to date about how and what is being done through this health-care bill to harm our families and nation, now and far into the future.

Thank you very much for all your hard work.

Judy Capistrant

St. Louis, Missouri

The editor responds: We have, in fact, covered other facets of President Obama’s health-care plan: in particular, one low-profile provision that would create the first federally funded program for home visits of expectant mothers with children younger than 6 (Sept. 20), and in the Nov. 22, we detailed some of the other major provisions in a graphic.


Health-Care Needs

I am Catholic. I am frustrated and annoyed. So many people suffer because they cannot afford the health care they need. How much money a person has determines how much care they can receive. This is a fact, and this is very wrong. To stand in opposition of and withhold what people need for survival to make a “political” point is just as wrong.

Abortion is wrong, but until people understand the importance of life, abortions will continue. Abortions are performed and accessible with or without medical insurance. It is not the access to abortion that is the problem: It is the lack of understanding the value of life. It is not access to the procurement of sin that determines the choices people make. It is their lack of understanding. As long as God allows us free will, access to sin will always be present in every aspect of life.

Are the Catholic opponents to a national health-care plan, which will give hope and health care to many of us, just using this new bill as a political tool? If Jesus were here with us, what would he do? Well, Jesus came here to teach, not to play politics, not to threaten, not to condemn. Even hanging on the cross, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing.”

Where are the teachers God called to help us all understand the importance of life? They are among us, but why aren’t they teaching, helping everyone to understand? Where are the gentle and kind voices guiding us to understand the importance of life? Maybe those chosen are only whispering.

And, no, I am not pro-choice. I just think if those of you who are called to teach did your jobs as he intended, no one would want to have an abortion.

Janice E. Wolford

La Crosse, Wisconsin