Archive for the ‘Cult of Moloch’ Category

Unsafe and Uncaring

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

It has long been suspected that the abortion industry in New York is essentially an unregulated operation.  There are some rules and regulations on the books that require certain minimal health and safety conditions at clinics, and requirements that clinics be licensed.  But up until now, it wasn’t known whether the government ever enforced these rules.

Now we know.  They don’t enforce them.  They obviously don’t care about health and safety inside abortion clinics.  It’s clearly an untouchable industry.

Last year, the Chiaroscuro Foundation, a staunch pro-life organization, filed Freedom of Information requests with the New York City and New York State Health Departments, asking them for information about inspections of abortion clinics in New York City.  The City Health Department immediately ducked, claiming that they have never done an inspection because, they claim, only the State has jurisdiction.

The State Health Department dragged their feet, and eventually the Chiaroscuro Foundation had to sue them to get access to the public records.  After much wrangling in court, the State produced some records, and what they contained was truly appalling.  Here’s how Chiaroscuro described it:

The New York State Health Department has failed to inspect the majority of the state’s estimated 225 abortion clinics and several of the clinics that have been inspected were cited for cringeworthy violations, according to Freedom of Information Law documents obtained by the Chiaroscuro Foundation.

Over the course of more than a decade, there were zero inspections of unlicensed clinics offering abortion services and of the state’s 25 licensed clinics, eight of those clinics were not inspected at all. A mere 45 inspections were conducted over that time period and no clinics were inspected on an annual basis.

The 17 clinics that did receive inspections revealed disturbing violations, including an Anesthesiologist cited for relying on a broken monitor to assess the patient’s vital signs, failure to ensure a registered professional nurse is present in the recovery room to monitor post-operative patients and unsanitary practices of reusing suction tubing for aspiration of human contents. The State Health Department has refused to disclose the names of the clinics who committed violations, making it impossible for women to know which clinics are sanitary and safe…

There were 1,145,261 abortions performed in New York City from 2000-2012 a total of 1,515,108 in New York State from 2000-2012.

Click on this link to the description of the actual inspection violations that were found, if you have a strong stomach.

Now think about this for a minute:

No inspections of unlicensed clinics in the last decade.  None.  

No routine annual inspections of any clinics.  None.

And only now, after a decade of neglect of their duties, a year after receiving the FOIL request, but within days of being publicly embarrassed in the New York Post, the State Health Department is finally scrambling to do inspections — but of only the licensed clinics.  The unlicensed places will continue to operate in the shadows with impunity.

And this is the state where the Governor wants to expand access to abortion?  Despite being right next door to the state where late-term abortionist Kermit Gosnell butchered women and children for years in an un-inspected clinic?  Seriously?

The old “pro-choice” mantra was “safe, legal and rare”.  They clearly don’t care about rare, and they clearly don’t care about safe.  But they sure care a lot about doing whatever it takes to make sure it’s “legal” — regardless of the risks to women and children.

The Administration’s Ideological Obsession

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

How can you diagnose when somebody is suffering from ideological obsession?

Consider the case of the Affordable Care Act.  This law was supposed to provide for universal health insurance for all Americans.  Yet the law is filled with exemptions, and the Administration has granted even more exceptions and exemptions as the implementation date for the law approached on New Year’s Day.

Here are just a few of the exemptions that were incorporated in the law itself:  people who can’t afford coverage, even with a subsidy; people with income levels too low to require filing a federal tax return; members of certain Indian tribes; people who can claim a hardship; people who will have a short gap in their coverage;  members of certain religious groups that conscientiously oppose insurance benefit programs (e.g., the Amish); members of a “health care sharing ministry”; people in prison; and people who are not lawfully in the United States.

In the last few months, with all the mess associated with the new health exchange websites, and all the other chaos associated with the law, the Administration has granted new exemptions:  people whose plans were cancelled can get a plan that is not compliant with the ACA; people who weren’t able to comply because of difficulties in signing up for a new plan won’t be penalized; and large businesses with over 50 employees will not be fined for failing to provide any health insurance.

Now, many of these exemptions make perfect sense, and reflect a healthy degree of flexibility in the implementation of a very complex law.

So, what does this have to do with ideology?  Well, despite all those other exemptions, waivers and extensions, one group has not been able to obtain an exemption, despite repeatedly asking for it, petitioning for it, and finally suing for it — religious organizations that have a moral objection to facilitating contraception, sterilization, and abortion, as would be required under the so-called HHS Mandate.

For these groups, there is no flexibility at all.  There is instead an adamant insistence that they will have to cooperate, regardless of their deeply-held religious beliefs.  The Amish get out of the law entirely, but when it comes to Catholic dioceses, schools and charities agencies, the government offers nothing except artificial and unsatisfactory “accommodations”.

Consider the absurdity of the government’s position.  As pointed out by Archbishop Kurtz, the president of the U.S. Bishops, under the Administration’s current policies, large businesses will be able to completely eliminate any health insurance for their employees, with no fine at all, but religious organizations that refuse to cooperate with moral evil will be subject to crippling fines of $100 per day per employee.  The government won’t even grant temporary respite while legal challenges are working their way through the courts.  They can’t even bring themselves to give a break to the Little Sisters of the Poor, who spend their entire lives caring for needy elderly people.

Why is this?  It’s not that hard to understand.  The current Administration is entirely beholden to an ideology of sexual liberationism that considers contraception, sterilization and abortion to be “sacred ground”.  They consider this ideology to be so central to life that they will brook no opposition, and will do whatever it takes to bring to heel anyone who opposes them.

That is an ideological obsession.  It is dangerous to the souls of those who suffer from it, and it is dangerous to any society in which they wield power.

The Mask Comes Off

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

During the bruising battle last Spring over Governor Cuomo’s abortion expansion bill, we repeatedly argued that one of the intended goals of the proposal was to permit non-doctors to perform surgical abortions.  In response, we were routinely derided as being alarmist and accused of lying about the bill.  Even the most ardent supporters of the bill denied having any such intention, and denied that it would have that effect.

They were wrong, of course, because the bill clearly would have permitted non-doctors to do abortions.  In fact, one of its supporters finally admitted that on the floor of the Assembly.

But it says something that the pro-abortion people still felt a need to conceal their ultimate goals.

Well, in California, they recently enacted a law that would permit physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives to do chemical and surgical early abortions.  The ostensible reason for this law is to increase “access” to abortion, which they see as an inherent part of women’s “reproductive health”.

Yes, you read correctly that midwives would be doing abortions, even though the entire purpose of their profession is to assist in giving birth.  And yes, an abortion is seen as being part of “reproductive health”, even though it prevents reproduction and is hazardous to the health of both mother and child. Such is the twisted mindset of the anti-life ideology.

It says something about the state of things in California that the pro-abortion people don’t even feel a need to hide things any more.  They are comfortable with being open, up-front, and honest about their goals — they want abortion to be unsafe, extremely legal, and anything but rare, and they don’t mind at all that people know about it.

This is an important lesson on the impact of the Culture of Death.  When respect for life becomes so attenuated, and the desire to deal death becomes so routine, truth is inverted into lies, and lies become respectable.  It is a cautionary tale for all of us, since we will certainly see a renewed effort by the Governor and his allies to pass an abortion expansion law here in New York.

A Textbook Case

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

In my last post, I argued for the need to protect the “pro-life” brand.  By that, I meant that we pro-lifers should be careful about how we use that term, in order to preserve the integrity and purity of our message, and to avoid confusing people about what it really means to be “pro-life”.

Yesterday, at the national convention of the Democratic Party, we saw a perfect example of why it is so important to protect our brand name.

One of the speakers from the main podium of the convention was Sr. Simone Campbell, a religious sister who is also the head of Network, a lobbying group.  She is also famous for being one of the so-called “nuns on the bus”, who conducted a media-friendly tour this summer to protest a budget proposal offered by Rep. Paul Ryan.

People can certainly differ in good faith about the prudential merits of Mr. Ryan’s budget proposal.  And people can certainly evaluate whether it is a good expression of Catholic Social Teaching or not.   People can also argue about the propriety of a vowed religious addressing a partisan political event.  That’s not my concern here.

What I care about is something that Sr. Simone said during her address and in a comment to a reporter — and, most importantly, what she did not say.

During her talk to the convention, Sr. Simone spoke of her support for the Affordable Care Act, and claimed that “This is part of my pro-life stance”.  When questioned by a reporter before the talk about whether it should be illegal to perform abortions, Sr. Simone said “That’s beyond my pay grade. I don’t know.”

These remarks are simply astonishing from a vowed Catholic religious.  Regardless of any benefits of the Affordable Care Act in expanding access to health care, it cannot be reasonably denied that it also expands public support for abortion, and enshrines abortion as a matter of ordinary health care.  It will force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions through subsidies to private insurance plans, it will coerce people to pay directly for elective abortions, it will force insurers to pay for elective abortions, and it will force religious individuals and organizations to pay for and promote abortion.  If that’s all “pro-life”, then the term means nothing.

It is also shocking that a vowed Catholic religious would say that she does not know if abortion should be made illegal, and to hide behind a reprehensible evasion by saying that it’s “beyond her pay grade”. To punt on such a fundamental moral issue is hardly a “pro-life stance”.

The teaching of the Catholic Church, as presented in the Catechism, is absolutely clear about this matter:

2273    The inalienable right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation:

“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority. These human rights depend neither on single individuals nor on parents; nor do they represent a concession made by society and the state; they belong to human nature and are inherent in the person by virtue of the creative act from which the person took his origin. Among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death.”

“The moment a positive law deprives a category of human beings of the protection which civil legislation ought to accord them, the state is denying the equality of all before the law. When the state does not place its power at the service of the rights of each citizen, and in particular of the more vulnerable, the very foundations of a state based on law are undermined…. As a consequence of the respect and protection which must be ensured for the unborn child from the moment of conception, the law must provide appropriate penal sanctions for every deliberate violation of the child’s rights.”

All of that is outrageous enough, but what’s even worse is what Sr. Simone did not say.  It is essential to recall that earlier in the same evening, the blood-soaked leader of Planned Parenthood — an organization that kills over a quarter of a million unborn children each year — took to the podium and extolled the 100% anti-life policies of the President and his Administration.

When it was her turn at the same podium, Sr. Simone had nothing to say about how the pro-abortion policies of the Administration (and their friends at Planned Parenthood) measured up against “her pro-life stance”.  The sister shared a stage with a representative of an evil organization that is the very epitome of the Culture of Death — and remained  silent about the most significant human rights violation of our time.

There is nothing “pro-life” about that.

 

The Strange World of Nancy Pelosi

Friday, October 14th, 2011

I have written before of the exasperating public statements of the former Speaker of the House, now House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi.  Ms. Pelosi continually touts her status as a “devout Catholic”, yet equally often allows the strangest statements to emit from her mouth.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill called the Protect Life Act.  This bill would amend the health care reform law to ensure that no federal funds are used for elective abortions, that no insurance plan covering elective abortion receives federal funds, and that conscience protection laws are strengthened.  A wide majority of the House supported the bill — the vote was 251-172 — and opinion polls show broad support in the general public for its provisions.

Enter Ms. Pelosi.  She opined on the floor of the House that “Under this bill… they will be voting to say that women can die on the floor and health care providers do not have to intervene if this bill is passed.”

The specific part of the bill that she was apparently referring to would ensure that any health care worker who has religious or moral objections to abortion would not be required to participate.  That is already guaranteed to a certain extent under other provisions of federal and state laws, but it was necessary to extend it to the health care law.

Of course, there is no evidence whatsoever that any woman has ever died as a result of a conscience objection by a health care worker.  In fact, as far as anyone can tell, the only women who have died in connection with abortion are the millions of unborn ones, the unfortunate mothers who go into unsafe and unsanitary clinics, or those who take dangerous abortion drugs dispensed by the likes of Planned Parenthood.  Does the name Kermit Gosnell ring a bell, Madam Minority Leader?

But in this area, the mind of Ms. Pelosi is apparently impervious to the truth and to reason, and she occupies a strange world of her own invention.  She demonstrates the wisdom of St. Paul’s observation about those who ignore how God reveals Himself to us in creation: “they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. ” (Rom 1:21)

This is yet another occasion to recall one of my favorite statements by Cardinal Egan, in response to an earlier set of absurd comments by Ms. Pelosi:

We are blessed in the 21st century with crystal-clear photographs and action films of the living realities within their pregnant mothers. No one with the slightest measure of integrity or honor could fail to know what these marvelous beings manifestly, clearly, and obviously are, as they smile and wave into the world outside the womb. In simplest terms, they are human beings with an inalienable right to live, a right that the Speaker of the House of Representatives is bound to defend at all costs for the most basic of ethical reasons. They are not parts of their mothers, and what they are depends not at all upon the opinions of theologians of any faith. Anyone who dares to defend that they may be legitimately killed because another human being “chooses” to do so or for any other equally ridiculous reason should not be providing leadership in a civilized democracy worthy of the name.

 

What He Really Means

Friday, August 5th, 2011

In May 2009, the President went to Notre Dame University to receive an honorary degree, and to address the graduating class.  Many of us believed that this was a profoundly scandalous invitation by the administration of the University, which purports to be Catholic.

In response, we were tutted and shushed by those who, like the gullible priest who heads the University, thought that it would be the beginning of a “dialogue” between the pro-abortion President and the pro-life community, particularly with the Church.

Indeed, on that day, the President said this:

When we open our hearts and our minds to those who may not think precisely like we do or believe precisely what we believe—that’s when we discover at least the possibility of common ground….  Let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion, and draft a sensible conscience clause, and make sure that all of our health care policies are grounded not only in sound science but also in clear ethics as well as respect for the quality of life.

Two years later, we have yet another demonstration of what it means when the President speaks about issues of life and death.  It means this — his words have the exact opposite meaning from what he says, and  you can always expect that he will do everything in his power to advance the Culture of Death.

Earlier this week, the President’s Secretary of Health and Human Services announced that, pursuant to the health care “reform” law, all health insurance plans in the United States would be required to cover — free of charge to the insured person — all forms of contraceptives, under the rubric of “preventive care”.

This includes hormonal contraceptives, which corrupt women by treating their healthy fertility as if it were diseased.  It includes “intrauterine devices” which are early mechanisms of abortion.  It includes “ella”, a “morning after pill” that is acknowledged by its own manufacturer to work as an abortion pill.  And it writes into law a powerful anti-life message, which teaches people that a new human life is an enemy to be poisoned at its earliest stages — to be “prevented”, and not welcomed.

For those individuals who object to this?  Nothing.  No chance of opting out.  No “choice”, to use a favored word of the President’s.

For those religious institutions that object to this?  Nothing — just an “exemption” that is so transparently phony that it is an insult.

This has been yet another important lesson.  When the President speaks, it’s important that we translate his words into plain English.  By “common ground”, he means “I will compel you to agree with me or face the consequences”.  By “honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion”, he means “ignore their concerns and force them to pay for abortions and abortifacient contraceptives”.  By “draft a sensible conscience clause” he means “enact a fig leaf of a provision that everyone will know to be bogus”.  And by “grounded in clear ethics as well as respect for the quality of life” he means “pushing policies that advance the culture of death and the agenda of those who worship it, regardless of the cost in human lives or souls”.

And by “dialogue”, he really means “force you to surrender your beliefs and buy into the killing of children and the degradation of women”.

The World of Ideological Blindness

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

The facts, of course, are undeniable.  As we learned at the Chiaroscuro Foundation press conference last month, 41% of all pregnancies in New York City end in abortion; 48% in the Bronx; 60% among African-Americans; almost 90,000 total.  It’s hard to imagine that anyone with a shred of humanity could be satisfied with these facts.

Of course, this is New York, a world unto itself, where abortion ideology always seems to trump reality.  Instead of trying to come up with ways to reduce the number of abortions, what is the government of the City of New York doing?

  • The City Council is bent on passing Intro 371, a bill that would make more difficult the work of crisis pregnancy centers  — agencies that offer women real help for their pregnancy and child-bearing.  How can you expect to reduce abortions if you won’t allow people to present alternatives?
  • The City Council is wasting time and energy passing resolutions calling on Congress to keep shoveling taxpayer money at Planned Parenthood — the evil organization that aborts over 300,000 children every year and has no apparent interest in making abortion rare.
  • The Mayor, who was silent about the abortion rate, instead found time to endorse full funding for Planned Parenthood, and he is expected to sign into law the bill that penalizes crisis pregnancy centers for their pro-life views.
  • The Public Advocate, who only seems to be able to advocate for those who have had the good fortune to have been born, denounced the billboard in Manhattan that committed the terrible sin of speaking the truth about abortion among African-Americans.
  • The Speaker of the Council, who is the driving force behind Intro 371 and the pro-Planned Parenthood resolutions, found the time to have a rally in support of unrestricted abortion rights, and in opposition to any kind of reduction in public funding for abortion.
  • Despite the evidence of horrors at an unlicensed abortion clinic in Philadelphia, our Department of Health continues to do absolutely nothing to inspect unlicensed clinics here in the City.
  • All this ignores the sentiments of normal New Yorkers.  A new poll from the Chiaroscuro Foundation shows that most people are very uncomfortable with the abortion rate:

  • 64% of all New Yorkers think that there are too many abortions in the City;
  • 57% of women who describe themselves as “pro-choice” agree that there are too many abortions;
  • 74% believe that there are too many African-American babies being aborted;
  • 81% of New Yorkers had no idea how many abortions were taking place;
  • Majorities of New Yorkers favor common sense regulations of abortion — waiting periods (51%) and parental consent for minors seeking abortion (63%) — that have repeatedly been blocked by the State Legislature.
  • In the real world, where democracy exists, these facts would be an indicator of a substantial disconnect between the electorate and those who hold public office.  Elsewhere in America, politicians are loth to be opposed to public opinion.  In normal places, legislators enact reasonable regulations on abortion, knowing that most people find the practice distasteful or morally unacceptable.

    But this is New York, the land of ideological blindness, where abortion holds a privileged status.  Here, it is sad to say, the commitment to abortion is so deeply ingrained in our political class that no facts, and no public opinion, seem to be able to penetrate.

    As a result, four out of every ten babies will continue to be killed in the womb, while our public officials will go on turning a blind eye to the tragedy.

    Varia

    Sunday, February 20th, 2011

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Robert George weighs in on the Live Action debate.
  • Philosopher Christopher Tollefsen responds to those who disagreed with his moral critique of Live Action’s tactics.  Other response here and herePeter Kreeft defends Live Action,  as does Hadley Arkes.
  • As a charter member of the Kathryn Jean Lopez Fan Club, I give you three of her pieces: on the power of pro-life witness, the suffering of women, and the culture of death; an interview with Maggie Gallagher on the current status of the defense of marriage; and an interview of Brad Wilcox on the overall health  of marriage.
  • The forces of “tolerance” refuse to brook any dissent.  Now the “gay rights” crowd is going after the iPhone app that helps people prepare for Confession, because it has the audacity to state that homosexual acts are sinful.  Note the chilling term they use — “anti-gay spiritual abuse”.  In 1984, Orwell used the term “thoughtcrime”.
  • An amendment to the federal budget will cut funding from abortionists.  Also, the Protect Life Act, which will remove abortion funding from the health care law, has been approved by committee and sent to the full House for consideration.  The Democrats in Congress, however, continue to rally behind Planned Parenthood and resist measures to defund them.
  • A positive initiative in Kansas to support pregnant women.  Here in New York, of course, our Governor cut all funding for the pro-life Maternity and Early Childhood Foundation, while continuing unlimited Medicaid funding for abortion and tons of money for Planned Parenthood.  Red states, blue states.
  • Wesley Smith explains how to fight against the evil thoughts of Peter Singer, the Princeton philosopher who justifies infanticide.  Smith warns that we must oppose this now, lest infanticide become as accepted as abortion is now.
  • Why is our government funding an international program that is making it easier to carry on the exploitation of “sex workers”, including minors?
  • The Brave New World, Northern Chapter — a Canadian court will permit doctors to remove life support from a gravely ill baby, against her parent’s wishes; the court rejected the parents’ request to bring her home so she can die among her family.
  • The fight to keep Ireland pro-life continues.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Varia

    Sunday, February 13th, 2011

    The following are some of the highlights from the daily email briefing about news and events, which I send out to some of my friends and contacts (if you’re interested in subscribing to the daily mailing, leave your email address in the comments box):

  • Live Action visited the Bronx Planned Parenthood clinic, and again the undercover video shows the clinic workers to be indifferent to sex trafficking and sexual abuse of minors.  (Please note that I have significant qualms about the morality of the practice of shooting these undercover videos.)
  • The claim is being made by Planned Parenthood and their media sock puppets that Live Action doctored the videos. Remember, this will be the theme you will hear forever in the objective media: “Live Action, which has been accused of doctoring videos…” Here’s Live Action’s crushing response.
  • If they did nothing wrong, then why is Planned Parenthood is re-training staff on how to report child sexual abuse?
  • Senate Democrats are rallying around the one cause in which they never, ever waver from their principles: retaining federal funding for abortion. And the Catholic former Speaker of the House is leading the fight to keep money flowing to the abortion industry.
  • The religious sister in charge of the Catholic Health Association, despite recently writing to the USCCB and acknowledging that the local bishop is the ultimate and definitive authority on moral medical ethics, but still says that she continues to disagree with Bishop Olmstead’s decision in the case of the Phoenix hospital. I always thought the phrase was, “Roma locuta, causa finita”.
  • A Catholic hospital in Chicago is offering help to women who in the midst of a multi-day second-trimester abortion — they’ll work to reverse the abortion. This is precisely why authentic Catholic health care is so important.
  • None of our “leaders” in Albany seem willing to defend marriage.  Our Governor says he will push to legalize same-sex “marriage”, and the leader of the allegedly pro-family party says that they’ll allow a vote in the State Senate.
  • The President announces a glitzy new educational initiative, a “Race to the Top” initiative. But Catholic schools aren’t allowed to enter the competition. Maybe it’s because they’d win, hands down.
  • Very sad to read how many parents discourage their daughters from a religious vocation.
  • Msgr. Charles Pope on diversity and unity in the Church. They call us “catholic” for a reason.
  • (Please note that these links will take you to websites that are not affiliated with the Archdiocese.  We neither take responsibility for nor endorse the contents of the websites.)

    Answering Planned Parenthood

    Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

    Bills are pending before Congress to cut federal funding through for elective abortions (both through Medicaid and the new health care reform law), and for those organizations that perform abortions. The most prominent organization that will be affected by this effort is the one I like to call the “Temple of Moloch”, for its fanatical devotion to the modern sacrifice of children — Planned Parenthood, which single-handedly aborts over 300,000 children a year.

    Planned Parenthood and their allies, of course, are not taking this lying down, and has enlisted their media friends to shore up public support. Over the weekend, the New York Times published an op-ed piece that summarized the abortion advocates’ talking points — if these bills are passed, the women who now go to Planned Parenthood clinics and receive care like cancer screenings will be left with no health care at all.

    I was contacted by a friend, who was trying to formulate a compelling, practical and loving response to this argument. To me, the answer is two-fold. First, we should trust women to be smart and resourceful enough to make sensible decisions about their health care. Second, we need better public health policies to address the serious health issues facing urban low-income people.

    The Times’ and Planned Parenthood’s argument fundamentally denies the competence of women. It is based on the false assumption that women have no alternatives to Planned Parenthood for their health care. That’s absurd — what, women aren’t smart enough to Google “Gynecologists” or “General Practitioners” in their area? That’s no way to sustain an argument, much less a coherent set of public policies.

    This debate over abortion funding actually gives us an opportunity to talk about a serious public health issue that is of very grave concern to the Church, and that needs a serious public policy response. In many urban areas where Planned Parenthood clinics are located, the reality is that there are not enough health professionals to serve low-income people. The better public policy response to that is not to keep throwing money to organizations that do abortions, hand out contraceptives, and do some other health care services on the side. Instead, we need to take pragmatic steps to address the actual problem of medically under-served populations and areas. Steps like giving doctors incentives to be more accessible to Medicaid patients (e.g., realistic reimbursement rates), or to taking the money saved by these bills and enhance direct public health services (e.g., free cancer screenings), or using it to train professionals like Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners from the community who can give health care at lower cost than doctors. We will also have to change laws so that poor immigrants can qualify for Medicaid and other government health insurance programs. Given the chronic health problems of poor people, these would be much more sensible way to spend public money than to continue to subsidize abortionists.

    Also, we have to help the private sector to respond. Many, many urban hospitals and medical schools are already doing outreach to underserved populations (in both urban and rural areas). There are surely ways to encourage more of that through sensible public programs (e.g., grants and other incentives). For example, some hospitals in New York City have walk-in clinics in convenient locations that are accessible to low-income people, and, because they accept Medicaid, CHIP, etc. they can provide good health care to underserved areas. We need more of these clinics.

    In fact, one way to respond is to imitate Planned Parenthood’s own business model (without the abortions). Surely there are altruistic medical people (and maybe some new religious communities?) who would be willing to start up non-profit organizations to provide good basic health care to poor people in the inner city, perhaps with help from start-up grants from the government, and reasonable reimbursement rates from government health insurance programs.

    The reality is that Planned Parenthood is able to succeed in winning public approval because there really is a dire public health problem in urban areas, and the private sector and the government are not adequately responding right now. It’s great to de-fund abortionists, but we still need to address the underlying problem.

    Catholic social teaching actually has the right answers to the underlying problem — a combination of private and public sector responses, building up community and intermediary organizations, and helping individuals to become part of the solution. And of course, Catholic teaching also has the ultimate answer to the Planned Parenthoods of the world — respect life, don’t destroy it, and work to build a culture of life and civilization of love.