Friday, October 12, 2012

US Bishops correct Biden "facts" on HHS

Of course the "Catholic question" came up. Ryan stated his views on abortion and how they are informed by his Catholic faith but are in fact based on science and reason from which it is clear that human life begins at conception and that therefore he was pro life. I noted he was very careful to say that the Romney government policy would be to make exceptions in the case or rape or incest but he did not himself endorse those exceptions. He also said that it would be unreasonable to expect his faith not to influence his public life. For me, he gave a coherent answer on this one.

Biden, on the other hand, went on about the Church's social doctrine, even using technical language such as "de fide" to describe the Church's teaching on human life. And then said how he should not impose his religious beliefs on others. This is quite disingenuous.

Anyway, following last night's Vice Presidential Debate, the USCCB has issued the following remarks on VP Biden's assertions regarding the HHS Mandate:
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement, October 12. Full text follows:
Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:
"With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact."
This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain "religious employers." That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to "Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital," or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.
HHS has proposed an additional "accommodation" for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as "non-exempt." That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation "to pay for contraception" and "to be a vehicle to get contraception." They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.
USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.
For more details, please see USCCB's regulatory comments filed on May 15 regarding the proposed "accommodation":


  1. Had been dead tired the day debate was on in the US, but I had awoken in wee hours and caught the last few minutes of the summation statements. then I later saw a transcript. Apparently Ryan said something along the lines of '....[really, no problem?] ...then why do they keep suing you? -- But I don't know if that made it through Biden's caterwauling or not.

    Interestingly enough, I saw that on BBCWhateverNunber and I was a bit surprised that when a BBC guy in London asked a [female] BBC reporter who'd apparently attended in person, she said that she thought Biden was really rude, and that wouldn't play well at all -- so she gave the nod to Ryan, just because Biden looked like a jerk, and Ryan remained calm. IT surprised me a bit, because most of the press here are Obama cheerleaders -- even the Telegraph has a bunch of mostly left wing toads -- a few of them seem to be waking up to the fact that Comrade Obama is not exactly beloved universally.

  2. Paul, Bedfordshire20 October, 2012 10:29

    It is beginning to look like Romney might actually win. Quite an incredible turnaround.

    Expect much wailing and gnashing of teeth here in the UK at Broadcasting House and Guardian Towers if he does.


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