Gov. Rell’s refusal to force Catholic hospitals to provide chemical abortions has led a leading pro-abortion group to endorse her opponent:

On Friday, the group endorsed New Haven Mayor John DeStefano after expressing disappointment in Rell and her running mate, former state Rep. Michael Fedele of Stamford.
In one of the most controversial issues at the state Capitol this year, Rell opposed forcing Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims. The Catholic hospitals opposed a bill to change state law, saying their religious beliefs would be compromised if all state hospitals were required to provide the morning-after contraceptive pill that is known as Plan B. Despite approval by the budget-writing appropriations committee, the full House and Senate never voted on the bill.

Like the Courant’s recent stem cell editorial, the news article quoted above—written by the paper’s capitol bureau chief, no less!—misleads. The article does not explain that Plan B can be an abortifacient, not just a contraceptive. And the bill forcing Catholic hospitals to provide chemical abortions was heard in the Public Health Committee which—in the face of outrage by pro-lifers and others concerned for religious freedom—never brought it up for a vote. What was “approved” by the appropriations committee was a few lines snuck into a large budget that would have financially penalized hospitals refusing to provide chemical abortions. A few eagle-eyed pro-family legislators discovered the lines and tipped off the public. The ensuing outrage is why the full legislature never approved this petty pro-abortion revenge tactic.


Rell’s position on Plan B was a critical factor in causing her to lose NARAL’s endorsement.
“That caused us a lot of concern because that was our priority issue this year,” said Carolyn Treiss, NARAL’s executive director. “She wasn’t there for us.”
The second factor was Fedele’s vote on May 13, 1999, as a state legislator in favor of banning partial-birth abortion. After a highly emotional debate on the House floor, lawmakers voted 86 to 57 to reject the amendment on an issue that had been debated at the federal level and was constantly in the news at the time. Fedele voted in favor of the ban with 28 other Republicans and 28 socially conservative Democrats, including then-Speaker Moira Lyons; the present speaker, James Amann; and Michael Jarjura, now mayor of Waterbury.

First, pro-family voters should note NARAL’s description of the pro-abortion attack on the religious freedom of Catholic hospitals as its “priority issue this year.” We defeated them this time but you can be sure that they will try even harder next year—especially if their candidates win more seats in our state legislature on Nov. 7th. FIC Action’s interactive pro-family scorecard will be online soon and FIC Action Committee’s list of endorsed pro-family candidates will be posted soon thereafter. Watch for it and remember—unless we vote our values on Election Day we may see our religious freedom seriously eroded next year.

Second, note that Gov. Rell’s running mate, Michael Fedele, opposed partial-birth abortion. Gov. Rell—after first giving false hope to pro-family voters by publicly questioning the need for it—signed the same-sex union law. She also signed a law that will allow tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to be spent on the cloning and killing of human embryos and she gave the state GOP’s highest award last year to a pro-abortion activist. Her stand for religious freedom and her running mate’s opposition to partial-birth abortion are, we hope, a sign of better days to come.

There seems to be even less hope for better days to come in the strange case of Rell’s Democratic opponent, John DeStefano:

“The governor in one of her most important decisions – the selection of a lieutenant governor candidate – didn’t pick someone who supports reproductive rights,” DeStefano said in an interview Friday. “Either the governor didn’t know where he stood or doesn’t care where he stands on it.”

DeStefano, a Catholic, won NARAL’s endorsement because of his support for abortion and the attack on Catholic hospitals. We invite him to consider then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s (now Pope Benedict XVI) 2004 memorandum to a U.S. Cardinal regarding pro-abortion Catholic politicians:

Presenting oneself to receive Holy Communion should be a conscious decision, based on a reasoned judgment regarding one’s worthiness to do so, according to the Church’s objective criteria, asking such questions as: “Am I in full communion with the Catholic Church? Am I guilty of grave sin?… The Church teaches that abortion or euthanasia is a grave sin. The Encyclical Letter Evangelium vitae, with reference to judicial decisions or civil laws that authorize or promote abortion or euthanasia, states that there is a “grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. […] In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to ‘take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law or vote for it’” (no. 73). Christians have a “grave obligation of conscience not to cooperate formally in practices which, even if permitted by civil legislation, are contrary to God’s law. Indeed, from the moral standpoint, it is never licit to cooperate formally in evil. […] This cooperation can never be justified either by invoking respect for the freedom of others or by appealing to the fact that civil law permits it or requires it”…There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.

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