Friday, August 21, 2009

In Face of Planned Parenthood Attack, USCCB Official Insists Abortion is Not Health Care

Yesterday, I blogged about the full-frontal assault on the Church and Bishops by the President's pro-abortion allies at Planned Parenthood.

An official at the USCCB has responded to the attack:
... Speaking to CNA on Wednesday morning, Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the USSCB’s Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, addressed Cecile Richard's claims.

Doerflinger said Richards erred in claiming most Americans favored “comprehensive reproductive health care.”

“This is not supported by majority of Americans. The majority of Americans describe themselves as pro-life.

“We don’t see the taking of human life, at any stage, as health care at all. Most Americans do not want to pay for abortions,” he remarked.

“We mean by universal coverage what everybody but Planned Parenthood means. That is, we need to cover all the people. We know that people need health care throughout life from conception to natural death. That is why fetology is a branch of human medicine, which Richards seem unaware of,” Doerflinger said.

Asked to respond to Richards’ criticisms of U.S. bishops’ actions on condoms and the AIDS pandemic, he replied:

“The Catholic Church has done more to fight AIDS in Africa than Planned Parenthood has. Planned Parenthood doesn’t want people to know that hormonal contraception has actually been associated with an increased risk of contracting AIDS. It has nothing to do with preventing AIDS, something to do with making it worse.

“Our major arguments on this have not been about contraception,” he clarified. “She likes to change the subject.

“But it is the case that there is a great deal of evidence that contraceptive programs fail to reduce abortions. We cite the primary sources for that on our website so that people can read them for themselves.”

He said it was necessary to stop “running away from the facts” and “citing contraception as the cure for everything” when the evidence is otherwise.

Doerflinger said the bishops’ materials about health care reform have been centered on supporting universal coverage, but opposing mandated abortion coverage.

“She keeps talking about how we’re trying to diminish a right,” he said of Richards. “A mandate is not consistent with a personal choice. If what she’s talking about is people’s personal ability to choose whether or not to buy abortion coverage, we’re not going to oppose legislation that allows that.

“We’re talking about the government mandating that people purchase abortion coverage against their will. Why would she be against that if she favors ‘choice’?

“To get into the government-run health plan you must buy abortion coverage. That’s contrary to personal choice. Maybe she should be joining us in our effort.”

“We think the abortion issue is paramount, because we see it as really the taking of a life in existence.”

Doerflinger then summed up his objections to Planned Parenthood’s position:

“I think what Planned Parenthood is saying is that millions of people must continue to go without basic health care unless they can get their wish list of making everyone pay for abortions. I think that the charge of being ‘single issue’ falls squarely back on Planned Parenthood’s side, because this is not the kind of health care that most Americans want to purchase or have to pay for.

“This issue could bring down health care reform. We hope that that does not happen, but an insistence on this one issue on their part might do so.”


Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
Cecile Richards and Planned Parenthood Attack U.S. Catholic Bishops for Defending Life

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