Critics of Catholic Health Plan Oppose ‘Choice’
The Sisters own and operate OSF Health Care Systems, which is offering the plan as part of President Bush's goal of letting faith-based organizations participate in government programs. Culture & Cosmos said Planned Parenthood was among the “typical litany of ‘pro-choice’ groups” opposing the plan and referred to an unsigned article on the organization's website stating that contraception was “basic health care” and that the OSF plan takes away the employees' right to choose. Federal employees are not obligated to participate in the OSF health plan.
Commenting on organizations opposed to faith-based health care, OSF's communications director James Ferrell was quoted as saying, “They aren't really pro-choice.”
Marriage Re-Designers Shift Focus to Culture War
Among the factors influencing the change of strategy is that many of the state amendments against same-sex “marriage” passed by overwhelming majorities in the Nov. 2 elections. Homosexual-rights advocates said in the story that the current challenge is to change public attitudes. Andrew Koppelman, a law professor at Northwestern University, said the forum for the debate over marriage has shifted, adding, “The gay marriage issue is being fought primarily in the culture, not in the courts.”
Pastor Asks Pro-Abortion Pol to Leave Choir
Father William Cleary, who made the request because of L'Italien's pro-abortion position said, “In this particular case, we're dealing with a person who is against the Church's position. I can't allow her to be in a public posture — to be standing up at the pulpit singing or directing singing.”
According to the northern Massachusetts daily, L'Italien said, “I was told that, because I am a legislator and a Democrat, I was being asked to step down.” Father Cleary countered that L'Italien's political affiliation was unrelated to his request. A lifelong member of the parish, L'Italien said she told Father Cleary she has her own personal view on abortion but is sworn to uphold the law.
- Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2004