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Letters & Op-Eds - 2000

washington Times

DC Council, Contraceptives and the Catholic Church

Frances Kissling

5 August 2000

A letter the Catholic League claims that Catholics for a Free Choice (CFFC) is "anti-Catholic." ("D.C. Council, contraceptives and the Catholic Church," Aug. 2).

Therefore, a CFFC report that proves that insurance coverage for contraceptives is provided by many Catholic health plans across the country should not be cited or trusted in the current policy debate regarding such coverage in the District. The Catholic League's claims shed little light on an important policy issue, but aim instead to generate heat and hatred (A follow-up letter yesterday from the Archdiocese of Washington's Commuications Office claims that the study is "flawed." In fact, the study has not yet been published and has not been seen by the archdiocese. How--other than clairvoyance--one asks, does the archdiocese know it is flawed?).

The Catholic League cites no evidence to refute CFFC's research findings. Catholic health plans across the country are covering contraception. D.C. Council member Jim Graham is right to ask why it is not possible for Catholic institutions in the District to do the same and cover employees--Catholic and non-Catholic--for contraceptive services that their individual consciences tell them are moral.

The Catholic bishops of Washington have failed to answer this simple question. Why? Clearly it is because there is no answer that supports their claim that Catholic teaching requires them to deny coverage for contraception. What will be next? Does Catholic teaching also require denial of coverage for the delivery of babies to single women, since sex outside of marriage is forbidden by the church?

The time has come for the public to demand that questions such as these be answered. It also is time to reject the increasingly tired canard that those who disagree with church officials are anti-Catholic. Nothing could be further from the truth. CFFC and those members of Congress and of the D.C. Council who have tried to find a way to respect the consciences of Catholic people who overwhelming support and use contraception are truly pro-Catholic. The Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church made it clear: the people of God are the church--not the Vatican alone and not the Archdiocese of Washington.

Frances Kissling
President
Catholics for a Free Choice
Washington

This letter appeared in the 5 August 2000 edition of the Washington Times.