First of all, Health and Human Services denied the request by Catholic institutions to be exempt from the mandate to provide employees benefits that include contraception. An exemption was granted, but it was so narrow that it doesn't appy to Catholic hospitals and universities. This requirement to violate our consciences is unprecedented and will likely lead down a very slippery slope. This affects individuals from all faith backgrounds and that is why faith leaders from Jewish and Protestant backgrounds have stood with our Catholic bishops.
Want more information?
These folks explain the issues and extreme urgency of this situation far better than I can
So what MUST you do?
- Join 12000 others and sign the petition here: http://wh.gov/kl3
- Write your congressman and women here: http://catholic-advocate.rallycongress.com/4339/tell-congress-to-support-concience-protections-health-care-profes/
- Call your church and ask them to put the information in their bulletin, make announcements at masses, and conduct a letter writing campaign. My husband said, "why didn't we hear this at mass?!" I was hoping it was just because it was fairly new last Sunday, but when I called there was nothing in the bulletin regarding the petition or anything else related so the woman in charge was going to talk to Father and get permission to put it in. For more info on these ideas, go here: http://join.catholicadvocate.com/hhs/
- And for goodness sakes, use your social media resources for good and spread the word. Even if, like me, someone you are close to (as in in their wedding close) was supportive to your face (to the tune of switching to your Catholic ob/gyn that is napro trained and doesn't script pills and stopping her pills) and then bashes you and your beliefs and your mutual ob/gyn on FB. Even then. This is exactly what we are called to do. Sometimes hopping in the wheelbarrow involves bumps. God wants us to remain in the wheelbarrow regardless of these bumps! Put yourself out there, you non-controversial folks. Few of us love controversial situations, but it is necessary sometimes in order to stand up for the TRUTH.
- Do NOT get sucked into conversations about contraception, when the issue is larger than this. Attempt to unify, not divide. I am at fault for doing this very thing, I am passionate VERY passionate about NOT using contraception, but I know better than to distract from the real issue in front of us today, so I caution you against this.
- However, if these topics lead to the conversation, why do Catholics oppose contraception, by all means tell them. In my opinion, the #1 resource for this is Dr. Janet Smith. Her talk, Contraception: Why Not? caused my husband and many others to do a 100% turnaround. You can find this on you tube-linked above-but you have to watch it in 20 parts. This is alright because it makes it easier to search out a part you need to quote when you want to refer to it later. It is important we know this information ourselves because there are so many misconceptions out there. For example, my husband read the president of Catholics United was quoted on a CNN blog as saying, the silver lining of this HHS mandate is that the number of abortions will likely go down as a result of increased use of contraception. This may seem logical, but it has not played out that way. Its about the contraceptive mindset that separates sex from babies and bonding. Contraception is available so more folks have intercourse, feeling they can do so "safely". That contraception fails (way more often than the package says due to human error), and so abortion is the plan B. All of this is ignoring the fact that most forms of contraception are, by their nature, abortifacients . Janet Smith explains it better than I can.
In other news, the Susan G. Komen foundation has pulled their funding of PP. This is wonderful because PP is the largest providers of abortion services. They pulled the funding do to a new policy where they do not financially support any organization undergoing state or federal investigation. PP is under investigation for misusing funds. This may be specific to government funds, but Susan G. Komen is making the right choice here. It was an odd partnership to begin with because abortions and contraception have been linked to breast cancer. We should all take the time to thank Susan G. Komen by clicking here. It takes just a few seconds. And we should really support them with our funds. You can do that here. The best way to prevent breast cancer is monthly self exams at home and mammograms. I know we have all heard that Planned Parenthood doesn't provide mammograms and it was probably true at the time of this article and corresponding investigation, (and I think it still is most places). But Waco, TX does provide mammograms per the website at this time, and there may be others so keep this in mind. Honestly, it was probably due to pressure (or the argument made too much sense to ignore!). Anyway, I have not called the location to confirm this, and this is the only location I was able to find on the website, but I wanted to make you all aware because: we can not be caught with misinformation or our whole argument will be thrown out the window!
And why I am sharing resources, here is a good article about single issue voting (sure to come up again soon with my colleagues in education-I just last week had to battle my former advisor who told me-"those who are anti abortion only care about the fetus; once you are born they don't care anymore." Are you kidding me?! He also thinks those that believe in God are "superstitous." How can such a brilliant man be so in need of education?!) that includes this tasty nugget: "It was never actually true that culturally-conscious Catholics were “single issue” voters. We have considered the other issues, and we concluded they are outweighed by widespread child-murder." A similar statement changed me from my former voting days and is the reasons I sport the bumper sticker "Imagine 9/11 everyday. That's how many Americans we lose to abortion daily." And with that, my friends, I will leave you to ponder these things. But don't just ponder them. ACT. .