What We're Reading This Morning -- May 29
Good morning everyone! It’s a short, busy, and terribly hot week here in Washington, D.C. So as we suffer through the humid weather here in our nation’s capitol, many are turning their attention to Texas where Mitt Romney is expected to officially clinch the nomination after tonight’s primary.
Here’s what we’re reading this morning…
Last week 12 separate law suits were filed by 43 different organizations over the birth control benefit, and it appeared many were divided over the decision to sue. “Catholics caught between bishops, Obama’s birth control mandate”—“Mommy and daddy are fighting, and the anguished children don’t know where to turn. This is the state of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States today. A small group of very conservative bishops has hijacked the church, or at least the public voice of the church. The bishops are playing the role of the authoritarian father. In case after case, their message to the faithful is ‘Do it because I say so.’… A much larger group of more moderate bishops has stayed mostly silent, fearful that to take a stand against the brethren would be to lay bare intramural fissures. They play the role of the silent and frustrated mother. The lawsuits are, in fact, very far from a ‘compelling display of unity.’ There are 194 dioceses in the country; only about a dozen joined the suits. There are more than 200 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States, and only a handful joined the suits. Notably missing from this so-called display of unity are the dioceses of Chicago and Los Angeles, both of which have prominent leadership and robust, vibrant Catholic communities. Also missing from the list of plaintiffs are some of the country’s most prominent Catholic educational institutions, notably Boston College and Georgetown University.”
This week, the Church is reporting the story a bit differently. “Archbishop denies split on contraception rule”—“Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington, on Sunday denied a split among Catholic bishops about the lawsuit challenging the Obama administration’s rule mandating that employers and health insurance plans cover contraception. ’I have yet to see among the bishops any split at all,’ Wuerl said on ‘Fox News Sunday.’ ‘The bishop who was quoted saying he was concerned issued a statement saying that was not his position.’ Wuerl said that the more than 40 Catholic organizations that joined together to sue the Obama administration are concerned about religious freedom. ‘This lawsuit isn’t about contraception; it's about religious freedom,’ he said. ‘Embedded in the mandate is a radically new definition of what constitutes a religious community, what constitutes religious ministry.’”
Last Thursday, Senator Shaheen’s amendment which would finally provide abortion access to military women who are sexually assaulted was adopted. Will it become law? “Women raped while in the US military are denied abortions. End this now” – “‘A female solider in Iraq is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by military fire,’ declared a piece on rape in the US military in the Guardian last December. As if the details of ensuing isolation, lack of psychological support and risk of homelessness weren't enough, one travesty was left out: unless life is at risk, military medical insurance does not fund abortion for women who are left pregnant after such attacks. Period. Even if a woman can afford to pay for her own termination, military hospitals are currently outlawed from performing the procedure. The March Act, proposed by senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Barbara Boxer, Jeanne Shaheen, Patty Murray and Frank Lautenberg, seeks to change that. Endorsed by the Department of Defence [sic], and given its appeal to patriotism as much as its pinpointing of this grievous human rights violation, can this be the law to finally persuade America's anti-choicers of the compassionate abortion argument? Or will it merely be the exception that proves the rule?”