Travesty Of The Week: Catholic Health Association Applauds Daschle Nomination

ACTION: Contact the Catholic Health Association with your concerns at Catholic Health Association, 1875 Eye St., NW, Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20006-5409, call (202) 296-3993, or email Sister Carol Keehan at
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If the United States Senate approves the nomination of Senator Tom Daschle as Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services, America will have an avowed Catholic pro-abort  at the helm of one of the most crucial departments in the entire federal government. Bob Ellis reports,

In 2003 Daschle voted for a Senate resolution endorsing the Roe v. Wade decision. He fought the partial birth abortion ban every step of the way until it was going to pass anyway, and he was finally forced to vote for it to provide cover for himself. National Right to Life Committee gave him only a 27% approval rating his last year in office, 0% the year before that, 11% before that, and 20% before that.

In fact, Daschle's pro-abortion stance was so bad that the bishop in Sioux Falls sent Daschle a letter instructing him to stop referring to himself publicly as a Catholic.

That's right. Bishop Robert Carlson, in a private letter to the former United States senator,  instructed him that he should no longer call himself Catholic, due to the fact that he adamantly supports abortion and does so in public without remorse. Writing about the incident in 2003, J. Bottum explained,

This year, on January 16, Bishop Carlson received additional ammunition for his discussions with Daschle when Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued in Rome a "Doctrinal Note" on Catholics in political life. "A well-formed Christian conscience,"  the note declared, "does not permit one to vote for a political program or an individual law which contradicts the fundamental contents of faith and morals."

The Doctrinal Note marks at least the beginning of the end of the Vatican's toleration of what the pope's biographer George Weigel has called "Cuomoism" in the American Church: the effort to finesse abortion by declaring oneself personally opposed but politically supportive of laws allowing abortion. Catholics have a "duty to be morally coherent," the Doctrinal Note declares, and the Catholic fight on the life issues – abortion, euthanasia, and cloning – is not some merely prudential question, to be decided by political give and take. The Catholic Church doesn't take political positions – except when politics intrudes into something, like the right to life, that ought to be beyond the power of politicians.

However, this history of Daschle's fall from grace has apparently fallen on some extremely deaf ears in the Catholic community, particularly those running the Catholic Health Association. Just this week, in fact, Sister Carol Keehan, president/CEO of the Catholic Health Association, issued a statement:

The Catholic Health Association welcomes President-elect Barack Obama's official nomination today of former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle to be his secretary of Health and Human Services and the person to oversee a new White House Office of Health Reform. Also, we are pleased that Obama named Jeanne Lambrew to serve as deputy director of new White House Office of Health Reform.

We applaud the President-elect for choosing these two extraordinary and capable leaders who bring an enormous understanding of health care delivery issues and the need for meaningful reform for American families and businesses.

If I might be so bold, and with all due respect to Keehan, who apparently drafted this statement, describing a man who is committed to the act of aborting innocent children as an "extraordinary and capable" leader who has an "enormous understanding of health care delivery issues" is like describing Slobodan Milosevic  as a compassionate leader. This statement issued by the Catholic Health Association is an outrage and a scandal!

There is no defensible reason for making nice with a man who apparently has never heard of an abortion he could not approve. In fact, his record is so bad that I have created a scenario that I would like to share with you. Please read carefully and see what you think.

I imagine in my mind's eye the following drama being played out in Daschle's offices:
Researchers from Spain are sitting in the new secretary's office, waiting to present their new evidence to him that mothers who abort their children have high rates of psychological problems and much higher mortality rates than women who have not had abortions. The leader of the group, Carmen Gomez-Lavin, wants the secretary to know that her published findings prove the following: 

80 percent of women who had had abortions suffer from symptoms of depression, and 40 percent have contemplated suicide.

In addition, 70 percent of such women exhibit irritability, 60 percent suffer behavioral disturbances, 40 percent experience sexual disturbances, and 30 percent have been involved in drug abuse.

The report also states that women who obtain abortions have a mortality rate 3.5 to 6 times higher, and a suicide rate between 6 and 7 times higher than that of women who give birth.

As Lavin and her associates are waiting, Patsy Montgomery of Planned Parenthood in Fresno, California is explaining to the secretary that due to the failing economy, her organization needs more money because so many poor mothers need abortions, birth control and other services, which only Planned Parenthood is prepared to offer. She tells him, "We have more and more families who need access to family planning… and to basic reproductive healthcare." What do you think would occur next in such a scenario? Would Daschle commiserate with Planned Parenthood? Or would he escort the Planned Parenthood woman out, stating that new evidence about to be presented to him that proves abortion is not good for anyone – preborn child, mother or father?

Barring divine intervention, I think you can visualize the likely conclusion of this imaginary scenario. That being said, why in the world is Sister Keehan applauding a nomination that she should be working very hard to oppose?

We are living in an age of contradictions, and pretty much all of us realize that this is so. But sin is still sin, and murder is still murder. And Catholic still means upholding truth, not groveling at the feet of one of the most rabid pro-abortion politicians ever to sit in the United States Senate and, God forbid, soon to be Secretary of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Oh, yes! And in case you were unaware, Lambrew received a ringing endorsement from Planned Parenthood Federation of America's president, Cecile Richards. 

So much for upholding Catholic truth at the Catholic Health Association!

ACTION: Contact the Catholic Health Association with your concerns at Catholic Health Association, 1875 Eye St. NW, Suite 1000, Washington, D.C. 20006-5409, call 202-296-3993 or e-mail Sister Carol Keehan at
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