Thursday, November 19, 2009

Rights? What are you talking about?

Last week I posted a link to a debate about whether the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world. To me it's not a close call, but possibly the strongest argument in favor of the Catholic Church is the work it does for social justice: opposing war and the death penalty, supporting orphaned children, feeding the hungry, and the like. Why, they're so committed to social justice that they're pushing the health care reform bill in Congress, right?

Yes, with a big "but". They have supported health care legislation, but as we now know, they were willing to pull the plug on the whole thing without the Stupak amendment: no abortion for anyone who gets subsidized health insurance or health insurance through the public option or purchased through the insurance exchanges. And if the Congress wouldn't knuckle under to the bishops, no health care for anybody.

Now, an analysis by the George Washington University School of Public Health predicts that if the Stupak amendment becomes law it will affect not only women who receive insurance under the new law, but it will lead all insurance companies to drop abortion coverage.

"Under national health reform, millions of women, including women who are covered by small employers (as employees or spouses or dependents of employees) as well as those who are currently uninsured, will receive their coverage through health insurance exchanges. By barring the sale of subsidized products that cover medically indicated abortions as part of a broader package of benefits, the Amendment can be expected to cause the industry to re-design its offerings in order to avoid violating the legal restrictions on abortion applicable to exchange products that receive subsidies," said Professor Sara Rosenbaum, JD, lead author and Chair of the Department of Health Policy. "The Amendment also can be expected to chill efforts to develop supplemental coverage for medically indicated abortions, because it appears to prohibit the joint administration of both a basic and supplemental product," Rosenbaum noted.

Jeffry Toobin has an editorial about this issue in this week's New Yorker, and he has it exactly right. In a point that is often overlooked, he points out that the right to abortion is not simply a question of health care. "But, as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg observed not long ago, abortion rights “center on a woman’s autonomy to determine her life’s course, and thus to enjoy equal citizenship stature.” Every diminishment of that right diminishes women. With stakes of such magnitude, it is wise to weigh carefully the difference between compromise and surrender."

Who else is supporting rights for women? Cosmopolitan. Yes, the "17 Tricks to Keep Your Man Begging for More" Cosmopolitan. In their current online version they are providing a link to a petition to support abortion rights for all women.

Don't think you're going to need an abortion, or don't think you're going to be relying on subsidized insurance? It still affects you, so sign the petition and push your legislators to get on board with this. The game is now in the Senate. 35% of all women are likely to need an abortion at some point in their lives. This issue is of vital importance for everyone.

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Blogger dudleysharp said...

The newest Catechism makes so many errors in regard to the death penalty that it hardly seems relevant when looking at the biblical, theological, traditional and rational support for the sanction, which is found for about 100% of the history of the Church, as opposed to the 12 convoluted years with this new, secular based interpretation.

Furthermore, the prudential judgement aspect of the teachings also mean that good Catholics are free to provide their own judgement in calling for more executions, if their reasoning so finds.

While jailed, terrorists are likely to spread their brand of hatred and thus sow more seeds for murder and, therefore, even under the strict secular structure provided by the Catechism, we can see that such murderers still qualify for death, based upon the danger they still pose while alive.

There is also the problem of how many al Qaeda terrorists have escape from prisons in Iran and Yemen, as elsewhere, which exposes the Catechism's weakness in it's dependence on the state's secular imperfection of security.

"The Roman Catechism of the Council of Trent" (1566)
"The just use of this power (execution), far from involving the crime of murder, is an act of paramount obedience to this Commandment which prohibits murder. The end of the Commandment is the preservation and security of human life. Now the punishments inflicted by the civil authority, which is the legitimate avenger of crime, naturally tend to this end, since they give security to life by repressing outrage and violence. Hence these words of David: In the morning I put to death all the wicked of the land, that I might cut off all the workers of iniquity from the city of the Lord."

"PARAMOUNT OBEDIENCE" to God vs the newer Catechisms references to man's accomplishments with the criminal justice system.

"Death Penalty Support: Modern Catholic Scholars"

"Pope John Paul II: Prudential Judgement and the death penalty"

"The Death Penalty: More Protection for Innocents"

December 02, 2009 5:57 AM  

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