“Obviously, the Supreme Court decision in Whole Woman’s Health vs. Hellerstedt demonstrates that not enough people know and care about the fact that the abortion industry is an unscrupulous, unregulated industry that cares no more for women than for the children it kills and throws away,”
“They lead my people astray, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when a flimsy wall is built, they cover it with whitewash” (Ezekiel 13:10).
Reflection: Late-term abortionist George Tiller tells couples who come to him to abort, “The hard part is saying goodbye to the hopes, dreams and relationships that you have with your baby.” He explains that patients may speak directly to their baby, and even has a chaplain who conducts spiritual services and baptisms for the children who are killed.
Prayer: Lord, have mercy. Move to repentance those who misuse the faith of others to justify wrongdoing, and heal all those who turn to you. Amen.
“Although faith provides special light and strength, this question arises in every human conscience which seeks the truth and which cares about the future of humanity” – EV 101
Reflection: Jesus, the Bible, and the Church teach that stealing is wrong. Therefore, do the laws that prohibit stealing impose a religious belief on the rest of us? Of course not. But some argue that a law protecting the unborn would impose religion. They think freedom of religion should allow child-killing.
Prayer: Lord, you have blessed human conscience with the ability to perceive that killing children is wrong. Increase the moral strength of your people, that this evil may end. Amen.
“Prayer is at the core of the pro-life effort, and this case is no exception. This case, moreover, has the potential of protecting countless women and children from abortionists who are so unqualified as not to be able to get hospital admitting privileges, and from clinics whose standards cannot measure up to those of ambulatory surgical facilities,”
The Supreme Court could have settled the question of whether federal bureaucrats may issue punishing, perhaps incapacitating, fines to faith-based organizations that refuse to participate in what we believe to be evil. Instead, the justices sent all of the cases in Zubik back to the four federal circuit courts that heard them first. The high court also asked those appeals courts to step away momentarily and give the two sides time to resolve the case on their own.
What will the administration do now? The White House’s latest “accommodation” proposal for religious nonprofit charities, schools and other organizations did not satisfy the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The proposal and each of its previous versions required faith-based groups seeking an exemption from the mandate to submit a form to an authority. Without this initiating action, abortion-causing drugs would not be made available to our employees. The basic requirement that we be complicit in the provision of abortifacients and other life-denying drugs, devices and procedures was a part of every government proposal. When we responded that we are forbidden by our faith to take part in this scheme—the government effectively retorted, “So what?
But both sides in Zubik have told the Supreme Court that a solution is theoretically possible.
For instance, the administration could, for once, actually listen to the Zubik petitioners—and to the scores of other faith-based groups that have lawsuits pending in lower courts—and propose a solution that does not hijack our health-insurance plans. The administration could, for example, make abortifacient/contraceptive coverage available to religious nonprofit employees through the ObamaCare exchanges, Title X (the federal program devoted to family-planning services), or separate arrangements with our own or another insurance company. In other words, don’t involve us, or the health-insurance plan we offer our employees, in the effort to expand coverage of abortion-inducing drugs.
The administration might be tempted to come up with a proposal that satisfies only those groups that have third-party insurance coverage—and not those that self-insure. This wouldn’t be acceptable, because self-insurers underwrite their own health-insurance plans and are, practically speaking, their own insurance companies. A government “accommodation” that offered as its only option a requirement that insurers of religious nonprofit groups offer the employees of those groups separate plans for abortifacients and contraceptives would still force self-insured religious groups to violate their faith.
“We know through our decades of work with our Rachel’s Vineyard and the Silent No More Awareness Campaign ministries that many women are coerced into abortion. Where is freedom of choice when women are forced by parents, boyfriends or husbands to end the life of the child they are carrying?
“And they shall name him Emmanuel, a name that means ‘God is with us'” Matthew 1:23.
Reflection: In the midst of the abortion tragedy, the Church does not point fingers of condemnation. Rather, the Church extends hands of compassion and help, to lift up out of despair those who are tempted to abort their children. The Church informs her people of the many alternatives to abortion, and says “I am with you, and will enable you to say yes to life.”
Prayer: Lord, so many are tempted to abort because they feel alone. May we reach out to them, that they may know that we and you are with them. Amen
“We are encouraged by today’s development. The Supreme Court could have ruled against us, but evidently the Obama Administration did not succeed in persuading them to do so. A split Court could also have let the lower court’s negative ruling stand, but again, they did not see fit to do that. Instead, the Supreme Court, upon receiving further briefings, vacated the lower court rulings, and offered the parties an opportunity to work out a mutually acceptable solution in the lower courts, that will both allow the government to pursue its objectives and allow us to practice our faith. We are committed to continuing that process in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit.”
“Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity” – Evangelium Vitae, 9
Reflection: If we ask, “How can we eliminate capital punishment?” The answer is, “Eliminate abortion.” After all, as long as we try to solve problems by throwing away the innocent, it is quite hard to convince people that we don’t solve problems by throwing away the guilty.
Prayer: Lord, we confess that so often we think that the way to fix people’s problems is to throw people away. Free us from that way of thinking. May we protect the innocent, and may we not fail to recognize the dignity even of the guilty. Amen.
“Former federal prosecutors will testify at today’s House hearing on the pricing of fetal tissue that there is probable cause to believe that abortion businesses have violated federal law,” stated Fr. Pavone. “We know that they have been violating the law for decades; the panel’s work will confirm this.”