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Sr. Keehan Praises HHS Mandatory Contraception Requirement

Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association announced this week how pleased she was about the Obama administration's requirement for all insurance companies to cover contraception without a co-pay.

You might remember Keehan from her public displays of affection for Obamacare or her support of an abortion in a Catholic hospital.

In an open letter this week, Sr. Keehan raises her "concern" about religious freedom but quickly lauds the same government overreach that makes it mandatory. And while this kind of thing has become de riguer from the dissenting Catholic crowd, Sr. Carol Keehan takes it a step further by either pretending she doesn't know what an abortifacient is or attempting to change the definition of the word.

She actually compliments President Obama for not including abortifacients in the requirements. This is a shocking and disgusting untruth. She writes,

"We appreciate that the Administration does not intend to include abortifacient drugs as covered contraception."

But according to the AP, "well-woman visits, support for breast-feeding equipment, contraception [including the morning-after pill] and domestic violence screening” will be covered. In fact, the most widely used contraception is "the Pill" which is absolutely an abortifacient.

According to an online medical dictionary an "abortifacient" is defined as "an agent that induces the expulsion of an embryo or fetus." And while "the Pill" does work to prevent pregnancy, according to experts, it also works to prevent implantation of fertilized eggs.

Conception as we all know refers to the moment at which the sperm penetrates and fertilizes the egg. It doesn't refer to the later process of implantation which can occur a week after conception. You see, many birth control defenders add implantation to the necessary steps to create an individual, which is as meaningless as adding kindergarten. A woman is pregnant because conception has occurred, not because implantation has occurred.

Sr. Keehan can have her own opinion but she can't have her own facts.

This is, once again, a horrific and damaging public statement from the Catholic Health Association. And the only really surprising thing about is that it's not surprising at all.

Note: Below is the entire text of Keehan's public letter.

The Catholic Health Association is both pleased and concerned by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) recent actions on preventive services for women.

We are delighted that health insurance coverage must include critical screening services without any cost-sharing. What to some may seem like small amounts as co-pays for mammograms, pap smears, etc., has proven to be an effective barrier to care for women who have low incomes.

Our hope is that eliminating this barrier will result in earlier diagnosis at a treatable stage of many diseases such as cancer and diabetes. We applaud this aspect of the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine and their affirmation by the Health Resources and Services Administration.

However, CHA is very concerned about the inadequacy of the conscience protections with respect to the coverage of contraception. As it stands, the language is not broad enough to protect our Catholic health providers. Catholic hospitals are a significant part of this nation’s health care, especially in the care of the most vulnerable. It is critical that we be allowed to serve our nation without compromising our conscience.

HHS is accepting comments on its definition of religious employer and has invited alternative definitions. We will be submitting written comments to HHS and will continue our dialogue with government officials on the essential need for adequate conscience protections.

We appreciate that the Administration does not intend to include abortifacient drugs as covered contraception. Our comments will address our concerns about the mechanism of action of certain FDA-approved contraceptive drugs.


The requirement applies to all forms of birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration. That includes the pill, intrauterine devices, the so-called morning-after pill, and newer forms of long-acting implantable hormonal contraceptives that are becoming widely used in the rest of the industrialized world.

Coverage with no copays for the morning-after pill is likely to become the most controversial part of the change. The FDA classifies Plan B and Ella as birth control, but some religious conservatives see the morning-after drugs as abortion drugs.


HT National Catholic Reporter

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19 comments:

Paige Kellerman said...

Ugh...could someone kick her out of whatever order she's in...stat.

Anonymous said...

"And while 'the Pill' does work to prevent pregnancy, according to experts, it also works to prevent implantation of fertilized eggs."

Please, oh please replace "fertilized eggs" with zygotes or fetuses or something. The pro-abortion choice people use this misleading term all the time.

Once a human egg is fertilized, it is no loger an egg but something completely different (capacity to human adulthood; a human egg has no such (active) capacity, only (passive) potential).

Thanks.

Gerry

Bill Meyer said...

I'm shocked, shocked I tell you!

CatholicDRE said...

It is a very carefully worded statement. Unless I missed it, she does not actually advocate contraception. It does seem like she should know what an abortifacient drug is, though. It seems like she is either ignorant or intentionally misleading people. Both mean she should step away from this whole debate.

Laura said...

"Sr. Keehan can have her own opinion but she can't have her own facts" hahaha so true. And something needs to be done about her, like now.

Denise said...

Once again Sr. Keehan is at odds with the bishops. Just as there is now a Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious as an alternative to the Leadership Council of Women Religious, there needs to be a faithfully Catholic alternative to the Catholic Health Association. The CHA no longer has any semblance of Catholicism.

Anonymous said...

Markos "kos" Moulitsas will be demanding that Sr. Keehan be denied communion in 3..2..oh forget it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I miss nuances of American doublespeak, of which Sister seems a pro, but I can't see any support for the first sentence of the article in the quoted letter. I am not referring to her weaseling on 'abortifacient'.

Anonymous said...

"Please, oh please replace "fertilized eggs" with zygotes or fetuses or something. The pro-abortion choice people use this misleading term all the time."
Newly begotten and endowed human being.

Blackrep said...

How is this shrew still a Catholic nun?

And why, might I digress, do my fellow citizens need to pay for other people's "breast-feeding equipment?" Lift your shirt and unhook it, girls. Not that hard.

However, if you want to give your baby to someone else to raise while you go off to work and latch yourself up to a machine, then I pretty much figure you can afford a fancy pump for yourself.

Clem said...

I'm with the good Sister

Anonymous said...

There is nothing in Sister Carol's letter that indicates "how pleased she was about the Obama administration's requirement for all insurance companies to cover contraception without a co-pay." You are maliciously misconstruing the intent and content of this letter. Pure sophistry.

Tom said...

I don't find Keehan's statement adequate, but this seems quite benign compared to problematic positions she's taken in the past. She specifically does not include contraception in the list of things that she's glad are covered, and she specifically complains about inadequate conscience protections in the mandate for contraceptive coverage. She should just oppose such a mandate outright, of course, and the letter leaves a lot to be desired, but I'm afraid this blog post misrepresents her statements. God knows it's easy to view anything from Keehan in the worst possible light, and with reason given her history, but it's still not right to misrepresent this particular statement.

Donna said...

>And why, might I digress, do my fellow citizens >need to pay for other people's "breast-feeding >equipment?" Lift your shirt and unhook it, >girls. Not that hard.

>However, if you want to give your baby to >someone else to raise while you go off to work >and latch yourself up to a machine, then I >pretty much figure you can afford a fancy pump >for yourself.

Sometimes it's not "want to work" but "need to work" - as in the man has walked out of the picture and the woman needs to pay the rent.

Anonymous said...

In some parts of the country, the Catholic hospital is the only game in town.

Clinton said...

NARAL has released a statement calling this latest edict from HHS "the
biggest victory for women's health in a generation". If NARAL is this
excited by the new regs, it's certain that the Catholic Health Association
should be deeply concerned.

Cardinal DiNardo has said that "under the new rule our institutions
would be free to act in accord with Catholic teaching on life and pro-
creation only if they were to stop hiring and serving non-Catholics".

Catholic institutions operate by the Golden Rule that states that one
treats others as one would be treated. This administration operates
by the other Golden Rule that states that whoever provides the gold
gets to make the rules. It is an attempt to wipe away what remains of
the Catholicity of our Catholic hospital system. That Sr. Keehan can
issue such a blandly meaningless letter, ignoring the direct attacks on
Catholic healthcare in this country, exposes her disconnect from the
what should be the goals of the CHA. Shame.

Anonymous said...

What I extracted from Keenan is that the Catholic Hospitals she directs are going to pay for diaphragms and condoms, and even IUD's and the pill, without objection, and are going to try to draw a line at medications which are deliberately marketed as early abortifacients.

A far cry from the Catholic hospital I worked, which told women that if they wanted to take oral contraceptives while they were in the hospital, they had to bring their own in from home, and then advised staff that they were not so much as to pick up the pills out of a drawer and hand them to a patient.

Oh bishops with spine, where are you? Someone needs to pull this woman, and all of her toadying secular faith compromising ilk, up short!

Susan Peterson (Eulogos)

August 4, 2011 5:13 PM

Anonymous said...

And if the Catholic hospital is the only game in town, people who don't like that will just have to move, or fund building another one. They don't have a right to demand that just because Catholics have been doing all sorts of other good things for them for years, now they must do immoral things for them just because they have decided they like those immoral things and absolutely must have them! Nope. Sorry.
Susan Peterson, Eulogos.

Anonymous said...

And, Blackrep,really. We want women to have babies, right? And we want them to nurse their babies, right? But the reality is that many many couples get themselves in a situation, before they ever have children and really grasp the needs of infants and small children, where just to continue living in their homes, the woman has to work. I don't think it is a moral requirement that insurance plans pay for breast pumps, but I also don't think it is such a bad idea, since this is what so many women need to go on nursing their babies. Considering the health problems this prevents, it might well be cheaper in the long run.

I only managed to stay home with my kids so that the only equipment I needed was the built in kind, by living in what was only a step above a shack, and at times doing without hot water or a gas stove, heating the house, cooking, and heating hot water, on a wood stove. And hanging clothes and cloth diapers on the line. But we were able to do that pretty much because we started having kids right away, before we owned anything, and never reached a lifestyle that required two incomes. And, in the end I did have to go to work when my youngest was a year and a half, to make enough to keep the house from being lost for nonpayment of taxes, small as those were.

So I think you ought to have some compassion for the situations families find themselves in today as they start to have their children. Breast pumps are a positive thing. They keep breasts producing milk when mother can't be with baby. Sad, to me, but this is what many young mothers face.
Susan Peterson (Eulogos)

PS, I have to post as anonymous here because using my Google profile doesn't work. I signed in ten times in a row and it didn't take. Must be one of the things the SSA server blocks. Funny, though, it doesn't block Gmail.

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