Kathleen, dear, you may have missed a lesson or two from catechism class days, but as to that last even you should know that no Catholic worthy of the name supports "...contraception to prevent unintended pregnancy." In fact, the false belief that contraception allows men and women to fornicate and adulterate and otherwise act like animals without any consequences whatsoever is one of the things responsible for "unintended pregnancies" in the first place. Used to be, both men and women knew that slutting around often led to pregnancy. Now, the loose of morals act surprised and blame the birth control manufacturer for their "predicament"--and dial the local Planned Parenthood Human Extermination Facility.
Similarly, Catholic organizations like Catholic Charities receive hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for nonreligious services as long as those funds are separated from religious work. If this solution is good enough for Catholic organizations, then it is certainly good enough for health care reform. And it reflects well on the tolerant and pluralistic society we have created.
If Nelson’s amendment is a Senate version of the Stupak amendment, as expected, it will ban abortion not only in the public option but, effectively, throughout the exchange created by health care reform. Health insurance experts agree: Even if a woman used her own money to pay the premium for her health care plan in the exchange, she would not be able to access a plan that covered abortion care.
There are millions of pro-abortion rights Catholics who understand that women faced with unintended pregnancies or complications in wanted pregnancies have to make difficult, complex decisions for themselves and their families. They do not make the decision to have an abortion lightly and without weighing all of their options. They must retain the ability to make this decision and the ability to access the care they need, whatever their choice may be. That means they must have access to health insurance that covers abortion care — just as millions of Americans must have access to affordable health insurance and health care.
The U.S. Senate recently took an important vote toward improving women’s access to preventive health care under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The women’s health amendment would guarantee health insurance coverage, at no cost sharing, for women’s preventive care, including lifesaving screenings, well-woman exams and contraception to prevent unintended pregnancy.
And you want the federal government to pay for the exterminations. How progressive!
Ms. Townsend's example of Catholic Charities accepting federal dollars for "nonreligious work" is an odd one. Ignoring the fact that some of us think the day is coming when no Catholic agency will be able to accept federal monies while remaining Catholic in a much-more-than-Kennedy sense of the word, there is still the little question of the dismissal of abortion as merely "non-religious work." I suppose by that definition the architects of the Holocaust were merely providing a "non-religious" service as well; while I suppose you can say that killing unborn babies is "non-religious," it's the same sort of egregious understatement one might use if one said that Stalin were a "bit unpleasant" to those folks in the Katyn Forest.
Of course, anyone who can refer to pregnancy as a "health problem" and use the phrase "abortion care" with a straight face is already a master of the euphemism. Abortion doesn't "care" for anybody; it rips a tiny living unborn human to dead shreds of blood and bone, and sends her mother away empty--literally. Faithful Catholics understand what a terrible evil it would be to make "abortion care" just another option in a smorgasbord of federally-funded health insurance. But who has ever mistaken the vast majority of the Kennedy clan for faithful Catholics, anyway?