KITCHEN TABLE CHATS

Pull up a chair in my domestic church and let's chat!

I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz J├Ągerst├Ątter

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pregnancy "Reductions": a euphemism for abortion

The New York Times recently ran an article lamenting the stigma attached to women who "reduce" their multiple gestation pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc) to a single fetus. My response is up at HLI America.

The directions on my flower seed packet say, “Sow seeds directly into the soil. When plants are two inches tall, thin to six inches apart.” Sowing more than you need and culling the excess once seeds have germinated is a great approach to gardening. But it is a horrific way to approach pregnancy and childbirth.

Yet that is exactly what happens in more and more pregnancies achieved by in vitro fertilization (IVF). The New York Times ran an article chronicling the growing trend for women to “reduce” their multiple gestation pregnancies to a single fetus. Under ultrasound guidance, the physician inserts a needle directly into the chest of the unwanted child and injects potassium chloride, the same drug used for prison executions by lethal injection. This stops the heart and the child dies. The corpse is broken down by the mother’s immune system and is reabsorbed. What prompts a mother to consent to this barbaric procedure?

Continue reading here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

True justice demands legal protection for the unborn

My latest article is up at the HLI America Truth and Charity Forum:

The abortion debate is not about when life begins. Science has answered that question. Life begins at conception. The newly formed embryo meets all the scientific criteria for new human life. From the beginning he has metabolic processes and is responsive to his environment. He initiates movement of both his entire organism as well as his individual parts. He grows by increasing the size of existing cells as well as by increasing the number of cells. The embryo exhibits differentiation, meaning cells transform from unspecialized stem cells to cells designed for a specific purpose. Finally, the embryo is capable of reproduction: he can form new cells for growth, repair, or replacement. Most importantly, the embryo accomplishes these life processes under his own direction. The mother supports and nurtures these processes but does not direct them. As far as science is concerned, the embryo is a distinct living human being from the moment of conception.

Therefore, it is wrong to suggest the abortion debate centers around the humanity of the embryo. That question is irrefutably resolved. The debate is actually about whether or not an unborn human being is a person who deserves legal recognition and protection.

Continue reading here



Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A Young Voice on Authentic Support of Women

One of wonderful things about now being a fellow with HLI America is that I have been introduced to some really great voices in the pro-life movement. Sarah Ryan is one of the HLI America Young scholars and she has a wonderful piece on the misguided efforts of the United Nations to address women's issues.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) states that its mission is to promote health and opportunity for every man, woman, and child; it attempts to ensure that “every girl and woman [be] treated with dignity and respect.” As a woman, I will gladly stand behind an organization that empowers me, dignifies me, and acknowledges the rights that accompany my femininity and humanity. The UNFPA’s idea of empowerment, however, seems to be limited to the promotion of birth control, and its dignity to the avoidance of children through sterilization. Its acknowledgment of rights is applied narrowly to those women who are “wanted” or who happen to be outside of their mother’s womb. In taking this tack, the UNFPA is in reality accelerating the very discrimination against women and children that they are purportedly trying to alleviate.
Continue reading here

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Lord have Mercy

My son who is stationed in Afghanistan called me this morning and told me about this. May the souls of these brave soldiers rest in peace. May God provide consolation to their loved ones.

Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us this day in battle...

Monday, August 01, 2011

Kathleen Sebelius and HHS thinks being a woman is a disease

Part of being a woman is having the capacity to be a mother. For a substantial portion for our lives, most women are capable of bearing children. It is considered to be a medical disorder for a woman to be infertile unless she is prepubescent or she is post-menopausal.

Tell that to Kathleen Sebelius at HHS. She has declared that a woman's fertility must be thwarted. It is now mandated that all group insurance plans must cover contraception and sterilization. There are no meaningful conscience protections.

As I wrote here and here, fertility is normal and healthy and not something that should be prevented. All women should be offended and outraged that our normal physiological state is being declared a disease.

More on Sham conscience protection

As I mentioned in this article, HHS adopted the Institute of Medicine recommendations for preventive services. The USCCB demanded conscience protection. The response would be risible if it were not so repugnant.

The sham conscience protection offered is as follows:

HHS’ preventive care guidelines have been released http://www.hrsa.gov/womensguidelines/

** Group health plans sponsored by certain religious employers, and group health insurance coverage in connection with such plans, are exempt from the requirement to cover contraceptive services. A religious employer is one that: (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and (4) is a non-profit organization under Internal Revenue Code section 6033(a)(1) and section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii). 45 C.F.R. §147.130(a)(1)(iv)(B). See the Federal Register Notice.

How many Catholic entities meet these criteria? Certainly not Catholic hospitals. Certainly not Catholic schools. Certainly not Catholic doctors' offices. These guidelines protect no one. They are window dressing.

Sham conscience protection and more discrimination

As expected, the department of Health and Human Services department accepted the recommendations by the Institute of Medicine to include contraception and sterilization as mandated preventive services for insurance coverage. My latest article at HLI on this topic is up:

Last week the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its report proposing a list of preventive services for women that would be mandated for coverage in all private insurances under the regulations of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Early this morning, the Department of Health and Human Services accepted these recommendations. Included in this list are all prescription contraceptives, surgical sterilizations, and “education and counseling” to inform women about these options. (At the moment of publication it is still unclear whether the coverage includes Plan B and Ella, which are known abortifacients)

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops vigorously opposed the inclusion of these elective medical therapies that are contrary to Catholic moral teaching in the mandated coverage requirements. There are no provisions for conscience protection in the PPACA, however, the HHS did propose some limited conscience exemptions with this decision. Initial analysis reveals that the proposed conscience protections exempt Catholic organizations that primarily employ Catholics, serve Catholics, and have as their purpose, the inculcation of religious values. With these criteria in mind, it seems that many Catholic institutions will have to provide coverage for services they find morally reprehensible, including Catholic hospitals and universities. This would be contrary to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services directive number 52:

Continue reading here