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Commentary: Caritas Christi’s Deal with the Devil – Part II

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LifeSiteNews.com

Commentary by Judie Brown

See Part I of this two part series.

May 27, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The events in the Archdiocese of Boston that brought about the unbelievably bad news regarding the “joint venture” between Caritas Christi Health Care System and the Centene Corporation of St. Louis, Missouri, continue to unfold at a fast and furious pace.

In view of the public reports that Massachusetts regulators had approved a joint venture between the two entities in early March 2009, public expressions of alarm grew. Concerned Catholics could not help but see that this union would result in Caritas Christi being complicit in some way with providing for, or referring for surgical abortion, medical abortion, contraceptives or sterilization procedures – each of which are considered unacceptable according to Catholic teaching and Catholic health-care ethics.

In early March 2009, headlines and subsequent expressions of serious concern finally led to Cardinal Seán O’Malley’s first statement on the announced business partnership. In response to the questions being asked, Cardinal O’Malley issued this statement:

While I appreciate the opportunity given to Caritas Christi to serve the poor through this agreement, I wish to reaffirm that this agreement can only be realized if the moral obligations for Catholic hospitals as articulated in the Ethical and Religious Directives of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops are fulfilled at all times and in all cases. In order to assure me that this agreement will provide for the integrity of the Catholic identity and practices of Caritas Christi Health Care System, I have asked theNational Catholic Bioethics Centerto review the agreement and to assure me that it is faithful to Catholic principles.

The cardinal’s words might have set aside concerns for most Catholics if the fear had not persisted that an acceptable compromise was being forged in the shadows without all of the facts being presented by the cardinal’s office and/or the National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC).

One observer astutely told me:

The legalistic fig leafs floated by the [a]rchdiocese so far cannot, and do not, conceal the glaring fact that, by entering into a partnership with Centene, and by agreeing to the immoral requirements of the Massachusetts universal health-care insurance program, Caritas will necessarily be doing and profiting from immoral services that are directly contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Another concerned Catholic wrote in a letter addressed to officials at the NCBC:

You should know that in March of 2008, Attorney General Martha Coakley in her role of overseeing public charities, released a public report with the assertions that the Catholic Church was mismanaging the Caritas Christi Health Care System, and pressured the [a]rchdiocese to cede control of the operation of Caritas Christi Health Care System so that an independent board with expertise in healthcare management can run it.

This indicates the presence of serious financial problems, which might have led, at least in part, to the inauspicious announcement of the venture and back room negotiations that were obviously ongoing.

It is apparent from what we have been able to discern that since the initial announcement of the joint venture between Caritas Christi and the Centene Corporation, details have been either vague or simply do not exist. We have further learned that as of this writing the NCBC has not issued any type of definitive statement involving the acceptance or rejection of the agreement.

Catholic Action League said it best on May 19,

In the continuing controversy over the decision of Caritas Christi Health Care – a network of six Catholic hospitals affiliated with the Boston Archdiocese – to seek a state contract, which will require abortion referrals, there have been several new developments.

 

- On May 4, 2009, CeltiCare Health Plan of Massachusetts announced that Richard D. Lynch had been appointed Plan President and Chief Executive Officer. Based in their new corporate office in Brighton, CeltiCare is a managed care organization that will provide health insurance to Massachusetts residents enrolled in the Commonwealth Care program. CeltiCare’s participation in the Commonwealth Care contract comes as a result of the partnership between Caritas Christi and the Centene Corporation, whose wholly owned subsidiary, the Celtic Insurance Company, is the parent organization of CeltiCare.

 

- In response to an inquiry from the Catholic Action League, Brian Delaney, Director of Communications for CeltiCare, stated on May 11 that, “CeltiCare’s program has been approved by the Massachusetts Connector Authority. Under the contract, CeltiCare will be operational July 1, 2009, and will meet all the [s]tate’s requirements under the Commonwealth Care program, including providing family planning services as appropriate.” Assertions to the contrary by Cardinal O’Malley notwithstanding, this is the third time since February 26 that a representative of the Caritas/Centene partnership has affirmed that the Commonwealth Care contract will include abortion and contraception.

 

- It has now been more than two months since Cardinal O'Malley requested an advisory opinion on the contract from the National Catholic Bioethics Center. On May 14, Fr. Tadeuscz Pacholczyk, [d]irector of [e]ducation for NCBC, stated that, “The NCBC is not able to comment regarding on-going, confidential consultations. Your best source of information would probably be the Archdiocese or perhaps Caritas Christi.” Later, when asked if the opinion had been given to the Archdiocese, another NCBC official told the League “I’m not at liberty to say.”

 

- On May 3, at the annual convention of the Massachusetts Knights of Columbus, the State Council repudiated a resolution by former District Deputy Joseph B. Craven Jr. opposing the Caritas contract with Commonwealth Care. The State Council ruled the measure “rejected” and “out of order,” an impossibility under parliamentary procedure. State Officers claimed that an unnamed Archdiocesan official (reportedly one of the Cardinal’s two secretaries), stated that the resolution contained unspecified factual errors. Deacon John Baniukiewicz then told assembled delegates that “We can’t be more Catholic than the Church,” and “We can’t tell the Cardinal what to do.” The measure was defeated.

 

Catholic Action League Executive Director C.J. Doyle made the following comment: “It is clear that the Caritas/Centene partnership is proceeding with all deliberate speed towards the July 1 start-up date of the Commonwealth Care contract, while the Archdiocese continues its efforts to suppress Catholic opposition to the arrangement. Given the prolonged uncertainty about the nature, or even the public availability of the NCBC advisory opinion, one might reasonably surmise that the Cardinal’s request for their involvement was a public relations tactic intended to buy time and diffuse pro-life opposition. Catholics need to keep the pressure up on the Archdiocese to cancel the contract, and they need to keep Rome informed.”

According to the Boston Rescuer, Bill Cotter, head of Boston’s Operation Rescue and one of the heroic pro-life leaders of the state of Massachusetts “believes the archdiocese was taken off guard by the Caritas move. ‘But,’ he said, ‘there’s been a terrible loss of credibility for the archdiocese. It must forgo the potential financial gain and refuse this pact with the devil.’”

As we mentioned yesterday, American Life League is well aware of the health-care plans being orchestrated by the Obama administration. We are equally aware of President Barack Obama’s track record of using Catholics to his advantage and their willingness, for whatever reason, to be used. Obama’s relatively short history of appointments of totally pro-abortion Catholics, the Notre Dame scandal and other such events lead us to suspect that if the Archdiocese of Boston remains silent and does not demand immediate dissolution of the “joint venture” agreement, the death knell for genuine Catholic health care will have been sounded.

The evil that has gone unaddressed by Cardinal O’Malley, and persists in the context of unanswered questions and absent policies based on Catholic doctrine is scripted by the devil himself. Of that, there is no doubt.

American Life League cannot be silent while such a dastardly plan moves forward with nary a whimper.

It should be obvious that the Archdiocese of Boston could, either knowingly or unknowingly, become the first Catholic casualty as it falls beneath the Obama nationalized health-care bulldozer. Clearly if the Archdiocese of Boston succumbs to dollars over dogma, the end result could devastate Catholic health care nationwide.

As the wise director of Catholic Action League, C.J. Doyle, told Kathleen Gilbert of LifeSiteNews.com:

If Caritas actually intended to accept tax dollars while evading state demands for abortion coverage, every voice on the political left would be raised against it – in the media, in the [l]egislature, and among the advocacy groups. Instead, we have heard nothing but silence from the usual adversaries of the Church.

The only solution is for Caritas to withdraw from the contract.

If there is a morally acceptable justification for all of this, the archdiocese has not disclosed it, notwithstanding three months of raging public scandal. Not only that, but regardless of public opinion that there is little the archdiocese could do in this situation, our perspective is that there is plenty they could do, starting with revocation of the contract itself.

Want to voice your concern? Please do so, writing respectfully but firmly to Seán Cardinal O’Malley. Remember: time is of the essence.

Cardinal Seán O'Malley
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184
Telephone: 617-254-0100
e-mail form:
http://www.bostoncatholic.org/ContactUs.aspx

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A Planned Parenthood facility in Denver, Colorado
Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Colorado judge tosses suit alleging Planned Parenthood used state funds to pay for abortions

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

Alliance Defending Freedom "will likely appeal" a Monday court decision dismissing their suit alleging Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains illegally used state funds to pay for abortions, an ADF lawyer told LifeSiteNews.

The ADF lawsuit claims that $1.4 million went from state government agencies to a Planned Parenthood abortion affiliate through Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

Denver County District Court Judge Andrew McCallin dismissed the case on the basis that ADF could not prove the funds paid for abortions. But ADF maintains that funding an abortion facility is indirectly paying for abortions, which violates state law.

ADF senior counsel Michael Norton -- whose wife, former Colorado Lieutenant Governor Jane Norton, filed the lawsuit – told LifeSiteNews that "no one is above the law, including Colorado politicians who are violating our state’s constitution by continuing to fund Planned Parenthood’s abortion business with state taxpayer dollars."

"The State of Colorado even acknowledges that about $1.4 million of state taxpayer dollars flowed from Colorado government agencies through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate. The Denver court seems to have agreed with that fact and yet granted motions to dismiss based on a technicality," said Norton.

According to Colorado law, "no public funds shall be used by the State of Colorado, its agencies or political subdivisions to pay or otherwise reimburse, either directly or indirectly, any person, agency or facility for the performance of any induced abortion." There is a stipulation that allows for "the General Assembly, by specific bill, [to] authorize and appropriate funds to be used for those medical services necessary to prevent the death of either a pregnant woman or her unborn child under circumstances where every reasonable effort is made to preserve the life of each."

According to court documents, the Colorado law was affirmed by state voters in 1984, with an appeal attempt rejected two years later. In 2001, an outside legal firm hired by Jane Norton -- who was lieutenant governor at the time -- found that Planned Parenthood was "subsidizing rent" and otherwise providing financial assistance to Planned Parenthood Services Corporation, an abortion affiliate. After the report came out, and Planned Parenthood refused to disassociate itself from the abortion affiliate, the state government stopped funding Planned Parenthood.

Since 2009, however, that has changed, which is why the lawsuit is filed against Planned Parenthood, and multiple government officials, including Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

According to ADF legal counsel Natalie Decker, the fact that Planned Parenthood sent funds to the abortion affiliate should have convinced McCallin of the merits of the case. "The State of Colorado and the Denver court acknowledged that about $1.4 million of state taxpayer dollars, in addition to millions of 'federal' tax dollars, flowed from Colorado government agencies through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate," said Decker.

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"Without even having the facts of the case developed, the Denver court seems to have granted motions to dismiss filed by the State of Colorado and Planned Parenthood on grounds the term 'indirectly' could not mean what Ms. Norton and Governor Owens said it meant in 2002 when they defunded Planned Parenthood."

"That, of course, is the plain meaning of Colo. Const., Art. V, § 50 which was implemented by the citizens of Colorado, and the reason for Ms. Norton’s lawsuit."

Decker told LifeSiteNews that "Colorado law is very clear," and that the state law "prohibits Colorado tax dollars from being used to directly or indirectly pay for induced abortions."

She says her client "has been denied the opportunity to fully develop the facts of the case and demonstrate exactly what the Colorado tax dollars have been used for." Similarly, says Decker, it is not known "exactly what those funds were used for. At this time, there is simply no way to conclude that tax dollars have not been used to directly pay for abortions or abortion inducing drugs and devices."

"What we do know is that millions of Colorado tax dollars have flowed through Planned Parenthood to its abortion affiliate, which leads to the inescapable conclusion that those tax dollars are being used to indirectly pay for abortions."

A spokesperson for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains did not return multiple requests for comment about the lawsuit.

The dismissal comes as Planned Parenthood fights an investigation by the state's Republican attorney general over a video by Live Action, as well as a lawsuit by a mother whose 13-year old daughter had an abortion in 2012 that she alleges was covered up by Planned Parenthood. The girl, who was being abused by her stepfather, was abused for months after the abortion.

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Courtesy of Online for Life
Steve Weatherbe

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Fledgling high-tech pro-life group marks 2,000 babies saved: 2-3 saved per day

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Online for Life, the Dallas-based pro-life marketing agency, saved its two-thousandth unborn baby earlier this year and is well on its way to saving its three thousandth by 2015.

“We are getting better all the time at what we do,” says founder Brian Fisher. “It used to be one baby saved every four to six weeks and now its two or three a day.”

But the most significant save? “It was the very first one,” he says, recalling the phone call from a crisis centre a month after OFL’s 2012 startup.  “And for me personally it was just a massive turning point … because [of] all the work and the money and testing and the volunteers and everything that led up to that moment. All the frustration of that was washed away in an instant because a child had been rescued that was about to be killed.”

Though increasing market savvy has led Online for Life to expand offline, the core of the non-profit, donor-financed operation remains SEO -- search engine optimization -- targeting young women who have just discovered they are pregnant and gone onto the Web to find the nearest abortion clinic.

Instead, they find the nearest crisis pregnancy center at the top of their results page. Since OFL went online it has linked with a network of 41 such centers, including two of its own it started this year, in a positive feedback loop that reinforces effective messaging first at the level of the Web, then at the first telephone call between the clinic and the pregnant woman, and finally at the first face-to-face meeting.

“Testing is crucial,” says Fisher. “We test everything we do.” Early on, Online for Life insisted the clinics it served have an ultrasound machine, because the prevailing wisdom in the prolife movement was that “once they saw their baby on ultrasound, they would drop the idea of having an abortion.” While the organization still insists on the ultrasound, its own testing and feedback from the CPCs indicates that three quarters of the women they see already have children. “They’ve already seen their own children on ultrasound and are still planning to abort.” So ultrasound images have lost their punch.

OFL has had to move offline to reach a significant minority who have neither computers, tablets, or cell phones.  Traditional electronic media spots as well as bus ads and billboards carry the message to them.

As well, says Fisher, “unwanted pregnancy used to be a high-school age problem; now that’s gone down in numbers and the average age of women seeking abortion has gone up to 24.” By that age, he says, they are “thoroughly conditioned by the abortion culture. Even before they got pregnant, they have already decided they would have an abortion if they did get pregnant.”

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What they need—and fast, in the first two minutes of the first phone call—is sympathy, support, and a complete absence of judgement. Online for Life is always gathering information from its network on what responses are most effective—and this can vary city to city. The organization offers training to clinic volunteers and staff that stresses a thorough knowledge of the services on tap. “Any major city has all sorts of services—housing, education, health—available,” says Fisher.

The problem that OFL was designed to address was the crisis pregnancy centers’ market penetration. Three percent of women with unwanted pregnancies were reaching out to the CPCs, and seven per cent of those who did reach out were having their babies. “So about 2.1 children were being saved for every 1,000 unwanted pregnancies,” says Fisher. “That’s not nearly enough.”

So Fisher and two fellow volunteers dreamed of applying online marketing techniques to the problem in 2009. Three years later Fisher was ready to leave his executive position at an online marketing agency to go full-time with the life-saving agency. Now they have 63 employees, most of them devoted to optimizing the penetration in each of the markets served by their participating crisis centers.

The results speak for themselves. Where OFL has applied its techniques, especially with its own clinics, as many as 15-18 percent of the targeted population of women seeking abortions get directed to nearby crisis pregnancy centers. “It depends on the centres’ budgets and on how many volunteers they have to be on the phones through the day and night,” he says. “But we are going to push it higher. We hope to save our 2,500th child by the end of the year.”

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Shock: UK mom abandons disabled daughter, keeps healthy son after twin surrogacy

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By Pete Baklinski

A UK woman who is the biological mother of twins born from a surrogate mom, has allegedly abandoned one of the children because she was born with a severe muscular condition, while taking the girl's healthy sibling home with her.

The surrogate mother, also from the UK — referred to as "Jenny" to protect her identity — revealed to The Sun the phone conversation that took place between herself and the biological mother over the fate of the disabled girl.

“I remember her saying to me, “She’d be a f****** dribbling cabbage! Who would want to adopt her? No one would want to adopt a disabled child,’” she said.

Jenny, who has children of her own, said she decided to become a surrogate to “help a mother who couldn’t have children.” She agreed to have two embryos implanted in her womb and to give birth for £12,000 ($20,000 USD).

With just six weeks to the due date, doctors told Jenny she needed an emergency caesarean to save the babies. It was not until a few weeks after the premature births that the twin girl was diagnosed with congenital myotonic dystrophy.

When Jenny phoned the biological mother to tell her of the girl’s condition, the mother rejected the girl.

Jenny has decided along with her partner to raise the girl. They have called her Amy.

“I was stunned when I heard her reject Amy,” Jenny said. “She had basically told me that she didn’t want a disabled child.”

Jenny said she felt “very angry” towards the girl’s biological parents. "I hate them for what they did.”

The twins are now legally separated. A Children and Family Court has awarded the healthy boy to the biological mother and the disabled girl to her surrogate.

The story comes about two weeks after an Australian couple allegedly abandoned their surrogate son in Thailand after he was born with Down syndrome, while taking the healthy twin girl back with them to Australia.

Rickard Newman, director of Family Life, Pro-Life & Child and Youth Protection in the Diocese of Lake Charles, called the Australian story a “tragedy” that “results from a marketplace that buys and sells children.”

“Third-party reproduction is a prism for violations against humanity. IVF and the sperm trade launched a wicked industry that now includes abortion, eugenics, human trafficking, and deliberate family fragmentation,” he said. 

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