Matthew Archbold

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Notre Dame alumni decry university’s decision to comply with HHS mandate

Matthew Archbold
By Matthew Archbold

January 29, 2014 (CardinalNewmanSociety.org) - The Sycamore Trust, an organization of alumni committed to promoting the University of Notre Dame’s Catholic identity, criticizes the University’s compliance with the federal HHS mandate as “scandalous disregard of its religious beliefs” in a statement issued Sunday.

The alumni note that Notre Dame itself, in its lawsuit seeking relief from the mandate which requires even religious universities to cover abortifacients, sterilization and contraception in employee and student health plans, argues that compliance with the mandate would “cause scandal.”

“Complying with the mandate will predictably result, if indirectly, in a substantial number of drug-induced abortions, contraceptions and sterilizations,” states the Trust in its latest bulletin. “Furthermore, in complying Notre Dame has set an example for all other Catholic organizations.”

Unlike most other Catholic colleges and universities outside of those recommended in The Newman Guide for their strong Catholic identity, Notre Dame filed suit against the HHS mandate in 2012—a choice the Trust called “a standout decision.”  Unfortunately, Notre Dame’s lawsuit—like many others—was dismissed on the grounds that the Obama administration had promised to tweak the religious liberty requirements at a later date.

After the Administration finalized the mandate’s regulations in June 2013, many other Catholic colleges, schools and organizations re-filed their lawsuits.  Notre Dame, however, inexplicably waited until late 2013 to re-file its lawsuit, just before the mandate was to take effect.  A federal judge denied a preemptive injunction, questioning the University’s “sincerity” in arguing that it could not comply with the mandate.

What upsets the Notre Dame alumni, however, is the University’s next action: a brief announcement that it would comply with the mandate, while it continued to press on with its lawsuit.

“The most surprising aspect of Notre Dame’s decision to comply is that it offered no explanation for acting in a way it had represented to the court would ‘cause scandal’ and be ‘inconsistent with its religious beliefs,’” states the Trust.  “Rather, its terse statement implied that it had no choice in the matter.”

Notre Dame did not, in fact, have any easy options.  Had it refused to comply with the mandate, the University may have been subject to penalties of up to $100 per employee per day.  And some have argued that compliance with the mandate—as long as it is under duress by the federal government—is a moral choice that is sufficiently remote from responsibility for the evil consequences.  But to comply even while the University’s lawsuit is ongoing has angered the Sycamore Trust alumni.

“And so at the moment we have the depressing scenario of Notre Dame’s exciting vault into a leadership role in the Church’s defense of religious liberty, followed by a disheartening and puzzling retreat, then a brief revival, and finally an unexplained decision that the University had said would be scandalous and collide with its religious beliefs,” the Trust states.

The alumni are urging the University to take several actions: directly contact President Barack Obama and ask him to suspend penalties against religious organizations until the matter is decided in court; pledge support for the bishops’ long term-efforts to secure legislative relief, with Notre Dame President Father John Jenkins, CSC, playing a prominent role such as the one played by Catholic University of America President John Garvey; and re-file a motion for injunctive relief in light of rulings in similar cases which granted temporary relief from the mandate.  The U.S. Supreme Court issued one such injunction last week.

The Trust is also urging Notre Dame to explain why it opted to comply with the mandate, to disclose whether its leaders conversed with Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend on the matter, and whether any other factors played a role in the decision-making.

“Let us see if religious liberty is something Notre Dame will not simply spar about, but really fight for,” the alumni write.

Reprinted with permission from CardinalNewmanSociety.org.

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Hillary Clinton: ‘I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood’

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By Dustin Siggins

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Seven days after calling videos of Planned Parenthood officials harvesting fetal parts "disturbing," leading Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is throwing her support behind the embattled abortion giant.

In an ad released on Monday, just hours before the U.S. Senate failed to defund Planned Parenthood, Clinton called such legislative efforts "a full-on assault on women's health."

She also described Planned Parenthood as "the nation's leader in providing reproductive health care."

“Unfortunately, these attacks aren’t new," Clinton said. "They’re more of the same. We have seen them in Wisconsin, where Governor Walker defunded Planned Parenthood and left women across the state stranded with nowhere else to turn. We have seen them in Florida, where Jeb Bush funneled millions of dollars into abstinence-only programs while gutting funds for crucial family planning programs. And we have seen them in Texas, where Governor [Rick] Perry drastically cut funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings."

"And then [Perry] signed legislation that forced health centers across the state to close their doors in an attempt to wipe out access to safe and legal abortion all together,” Clinton said.

Walker boasted of defunding Planned Parenthood at a Republican presidential candidate in New Hampshire last night.

As governor of Florida, Bush put millions of dollars towards pro-life pregnancy care clinics, which are pro-life alternatives to abortion clinics.

The measures Perry signed in 2013 banned most abortions after 20 weeks' gestation, forced abortion centers to upgrade to the same level as ambulatory surgical centers, and required abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

However, according to Clinton, defunding America's largest abortion company is "cutting people off from the health care provider they know and trust."

“When they attack women’s health, they attack America’s health," Clinton said. "And it’s wrong. And we are not going to let them get away with it."

"We are not going back. We are going to fight back," she vowed.

She concluded, "I’m proud to stand with Planned Parenthood."

Her video came between the releases of undercover video footage revealing Planned Parenthood's work in harvesting the organs of aborted babies and turning them over to research firms for a fee.

Clinton has long supported abortion-on-demand, saying earlier this year that religious beliefs opposed to abortion "must be changed."

Last year, she said it was "a bedrock truth" that "you cannot make progress on gender equality or broader human development, without safeguarding women’s reproductive health and rights."

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Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin

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Bobby Jindal cancels Planned Parenthood funding in wake of body parts scandal

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By Dustin Siggins

BATON ROUGE, LA, August 4, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The state of Louisiana has canceled its contract with the state's two Planned Parenthood centers.

Louisiana governor and 2016 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal said that the decision came because of new videos showing illegal activity by top Planned Parenthood officials.

“In recent weeks, it has been shocking to see reports of the alleged activities taking place at Planned Parenthood facilities across the country. Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the people of Louisiana and shows a fundamental disrespect for human life,” he said. “It has become clear that this is not an organization that is worthy of receiving public assistance from the state.”

Jindal, who had ordered the state to investigate Planned Parenthood for potential felony violations following the release of the first video, canceled the contract because of its "at will" provision. That means that "either party can choose to cancel the contract at will after providing written notice,” according to a press release from the governor's office. “Governor Jindal and DHH decided to give the required 30-day notice to terminate the Planned Parenthood Medicaid provider contract because Planned Parenthood does not represent the values of the State of Louisiana in regards to respecting human life."

"Pending the ongoing investigation, DHH [the Dept. of Health and Hospitals] reserves the right to amend the cancellation notice and terminate the provider agreement immediately should cause be determined," it states.

This action is just the latest by the pro-life governor, who last year signed a law requiring all abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.

Louisiana has been named the number one pro-life state by Americans United for Life for six years in a row.

A Planned Parenthood official told the left-wing blog Talking Points Memo that no Planned Parenthood facilities provide abortions, although the abortion provider hopes to build a facility to do so.

Gov. Jindal also halted the building that 8,000-square foot abortion megaplex, scheduled to be built in New Orleans, following the release of the first video.

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John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

This one shot from the latest PP sting video might be the most disturbing thing you see all year

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By John Jalsevac
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I’m about to show you something that, if you're alive and have a heartbeat, will deeply disturb you, and then make you hopping mad.

I warn you, it’s graphic. But everybody needs to see this. Because this is the truth. And even if the truth is difficult, and gruesome, and challenging, it must be known.

This morning the Center for Medical Progress released the latest in their series of undercover sting videos exposing the fact that Planned Parenthood is harvesting and selling the body parts of aborted babies.

The first part is plenty disturbing, as director of research for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, Melissa Farrell, discusses how she “diversifies” Planned Parenthood's “revenue stream” by selling aborted baby parts, and how their abortionists can modify the abortion procedure (Note: totally illegal) to obtain “intact” fetuses.

But then the camera moves into the lab, where workers are actually involved in dissecting and dismembering aborted babies to get the useful body parts.

Describing their “last case” of the day, one of the workers tells an actor posing as someone interested in purchasing fetal body parts, that “it was a twin” at about 20 weeks gestation.

The camera then pans over to a dish, filled with what Planned Parenthood describes as “tissue.” One of the workers uses tweezers to pick up the intestines, and boasts about how sometimes “the organs come out really, really well.”

And that’s when I saw it. A little, beautiful, perfectly formed hand, gently clenched in a fist – a hand attached to an arm that had been torn from its owner's body, and thrown in a dish swimming with body parts.

...And then I saw the foot. And the other foot.

I wish I could say I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. But I could, because I know what Planned Parenthood does. But there’s a difference between believing, and seeing.

And that’s why these photos must be shared as far and wide as possible.

After that, it gets even worse, as the man behind the camera uses his tweezers to pick up and inspect an arm and hand...and then the leg...and then another leg.

Yes, it is horrifying that Planned Parenthood is apparently lying about the fact that it makes a tidy profit off trafficking in the body parts of aborted babies.

But the worst thing of all is that Planned Parenthood has body parts to sell in the first place. That Planned Parenthood is daily, constantly, aborting babies that have hands, and feet, and hearts, and lungs.

The worst part is that every time Planned Parenthood sells a body part, it is because they have killed a baby, a human being like you and me – a human being that had the right to live, and love, and be, a baby whose life was summarily snuffed out, and turned into a “revenue stream.”

The worst part is that year after year, decade after decade, we let Planned Parenthood get away with the canard that they are only aborting "blobs of tissue," or "products of pregnancy" - as if we don't all know perfectly well what the product of a pregnancy is: a baby. 

I say, enough is enough. Shut Planned Parenthood down, now!

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