St. Francis Hospital’s Barry Feldman marvelously represented the pro-life, pro-religious liberty position at yesterday’s Plan B hearing. An excerpt from the Courant:

The Catholic hospitals, according to their own survey, treated 73 rape victims in the first six months of 2006. All of those at risk of pregnancy – 26 patients – were given an ovulation test as required by church leaders in Connecticut. And all were given Plan B because the test showed they were not ovulating, said Barry Feldman, a spokesman for the hospitals.

The other 47 patients, he said, did not need emergency contraception for a variety of reasons including that they were already taking birth control pills or had been sterilized, they were in menopause, the attack was reported too late or because it was determined that no penetration had occurred, Feldman said…

Feldman repeated the church’s contention that emergency contraception can amount to abortion and that requiring the Catholic hospitals to provide it tramples on their rights of religious freedom.

On a more practical note, he added, all of Connecticut’s Catholic hospitals are in big cities, minutes from other hospitals and pharmacies that are free to dispense the high-dose birth control pills.

That last paragraph provoked this reaction from one of the Left Nutmeg bloggers:

This is simply sick. Finding care after your raped isn’t as simple as hoping in your car (assuming you have one) and driving to one that will treat you (assuming you’re physically able to drive)…Suggesting that some who has just been raped and is likely in a state of complete mental anguish and physical pain should drive themselves from hospital to hospital until they have the sense to stop at one that actually will treat them for being raped is as callous and uncaring as humanly imaginable. I wonder if Feldman had the courage to offer this suggestion while Heinrich was in the room. I wonder if he would have the courage to tell a rape victim like Heinrich, as she sits on the examining table, that he will not provide her with emergency contraception, but she’s more than welcome to start a driving tour of the state to find someplace who will.

I wonder if our left nutmegger has the courage to get his facts straight. From a very good AP account of the Catholic hospital protocol:

The Catholic hospitals in Hartford, Bridgeport, Waterbury and New Haven have been following a protocol since January 2006 in which they can offer the morning-after drug only under certain circumstances.

Doctors at those facilities determine through tests whether a woman has ovulated before giving her the emergency contraception pill, also known by the brand name Plan B.

They can prescribe the drug if she has not ovulated. If she has, however, they refrain in accordance with church beliefs that it would be immoral to interfere with any pregnancy.

If they cannot prescribe Plan B, the protocol directs doctors to provide the rape victim with a list of places where she can receive it and transportation if necessary [emphasis added].

Press accounts of yesterday’s events led with Rep. Deborah Heinrich’s tragic, heart wrenching account of a sexual assault she suffered in college. Her ordeal is terrible, but it is no lack of compassion to advocate for all–and not just some–of the victims of such a horrendous crime:

Later, Cindy Speltz, a woman from St. Paul, Minn., who was representing the group opposed to the Plan B mandate, told lawmakers that she bore a daughter as a result of being raped 31 years ago. With that daughter, Jennifer Maas, by her side, Speltz said she was glad Plan B was not available.

“I have come here today,” Speltz said, “to emphasize the intrinsic value of my child’s life.”

The champions of “compassionate care” are arguing that the life of Jennifer Maas should have been snuffed out. The true advocates of compassion beg to differ.


17 Responses to “Yesterday’s Pro-Abortion Attack on Religious Liberty”

  1. on 14 Mar 2007 at 3:09 pmchele

    Stop the hysteria. You didn’t even stay for the whole hearing, so your hysterics are second hand anyway.

    No one argued that Jennifer Maas should have been “snuffed out.” No one even suggested it.

    Try a little intellectual honesty.

  2. on 14 Mar 2007 at 4:09 pmPeter

    Try attacking an argument instead of the person making it.

    The logical outome of your position is to force a Catholic hospital to offer someone in Cindy Speltz’ situation the opportunity to take the life of someone like Jennifer Maas.

  3. on 14 Mar 2007 at 4:18 pmTrueBlueCT


    You didn’t really answer my question in the last thread. So I’ll have to assume, as a pro-lifer, that you are against abortion in the case of rape or incest, even as applied to your own wife or daughters.

    That being said, where do you stand on practical matters? Should a Willie Horton type rapist be granted visitation rights to see his child? What about child support? If the mother is indigent, should there be a special fund to help support the child and pay for his or her upbringing and education? (since the father would most likely be in jail?)

    I mean if you’re advocating that these pregnancies be carried out, can you tell me more about how you see the practicalities playing out??

  4. on 14 Mar 2007 at 4:18 pmmatt

    Actually, in the discussion, Feldman made a point that his hospital would not be willing to foot the bill for the transportation, generously suggesting that the hospital might expect that the state should pay the bill. (A cross-town ambulance drive is not cheap). And when pointed out that calling for transportation to another facility would involve the use of the hospital’s property in the providing of EC to the rape victim, he equivocated on the hospital’s willingness to make the call on the victim’s behalf.

    Speltz, on the other hand, was actually offered the choice of a (surgical) abortion and declined. Several pro-compassionate care testimonies praised her and the choice she made, and referred to how the ability to decide helped her in her healing process.

    Why you guys think offering this treatment is the same as forcing someone to take it is very strange, and seems to be a pattern with your movement. Just for future reference, teaching kids about sex doesn’t make them have it, allowing gay marriage doesn’t make more people gay, and offering contraception to a rape victim isn’t an order that they take it. You seem to assume that subjects have no free will, and that people are better off without the information they need to make wise decisions about what to do in a complex world.

    Fortunately, not that many people are fooled by this anymore: not many in our legislature, and not many mainline churchgoers. The hardline positions you take burden even your allies’ consciences — you should have seen Lou DeLuca’s face when he heard that the hospitals refused the compromise position of allowing a third party to lease space in the hospital to administer EC. I know he has different values than I do, but he’s someone who thinks that being faithful and being decent to people in extreme situations aren’t incompatible, and was clearly troubled by the implications of your position.

    That so few came or could be bothered to stay to testify against the bill is actually a testament to the reasonableness of the church’s flock.

  5. on 14 Mar 2007 at 4:19 pmmatt

    That was a long comment, so let me repeat: Speltz was offered an abortion. She refused it. And that is a perfectly respectable moral choice.

  6. on 14 Mar 2007 at 5:11 pmPeter

    Matt, as to your third paragraph in comment # 4, go back and read what I actually said to Chele above. You completely misrepresented my position–which is itself a pattern of our opponents.

  7. on 14 Mar 2007 at 6:07 pmBryce

    For the responsableness of the church’s flock, it is a sad an unfortunate fact that we aren’t as involved as you are. I myself was working to support my wife and my children, and I can’t just take time off of work, and help the FIC.
    I do all that my state in life allows me to do to help our cause. As do you, that is comendable, now in a previous thread Chele asked me if we all should be forced to live and be ruled by Catholic Doctrine. I responded that God doesn’t force us to do anything. It is our own free-will to love Him, and defend the Holy Mother Church. Now it is my understanding that these hospitals that are under attack are in fact “Catholic”, and they are indeed ruled and live by the Catholic doctrine. So why should they be forced to be ruled by your doctirne, and be “forced” to kill babies.

  8. on 14 Mar 2007 at 7:32 pmmatt

    I am in no way misrepresenting your position. Your post reads:

    The champions of “compassionate care” are arguing that the life of Jennifer Maas should have been snuffed out. The true advocates of compassion beg to differ.

    It is you that is making a misrepresentation, Peter. Many of those who testified in favor of the bill praised Speltz’s courage and moral decision. Not one person undermined her testimony or suggested that she was foolish or wrong in her decision, only that she enjoyed a right to choose that should be preserved for all rape victims.

  9. on 14 Mar 2007 at 8:16 pmchele


    Nobody is misrepresenting your position — we’re shining a light on it.

    You want Catholic hospitals to deny women any choice whatsoever.

    Yes Peter, the logical outcome of our position is that we DO want victims of rape to be offered a choice.

    Good morning?!?

    Yes Peter, we want every licensed, funded hospital to be required to provide the complete range of medical care.

    Hospitals are not churches — they are facilities that provide medical care. Medicine is not religion. I wouldn’t think much of an unordained doctor consecrating the host; I don’t think much of priests practicing medicine.

    By the way, who paid for Mrs. Speltz and her daughter to come to Connecticut?

  10. on 15 Mar 2007 at 5:01 amPeter

    Matt: And I make clear in #2 above that I am referring to “offer[ing] someone in Cindy Speltz’ situation THE OPPORTUNITY to take the life of someone like Jennifer Maas,” a point of clarification you conveniently ignored. Fact remains, if someone in that situation wants to end the life of a Jennifer Maas you think the Catholic hospitals should be coerced into complicity with snuffing Maas out.

  11. on 15 Mar 2007 at 6:32 ammatt

    If you’d like to change your post to reflect your actual position, feel free. Otherwise, my criticism stands.

  12. on 15 Mar 2007 at 7:19 amGabe

    Oh, snap!

  13. on 15 Mar 2007 at 12:01 pmchele


    Please read the testimony of Dr. Bryce Davidoff who spoke at the legislature.

    Dr. Davidoff explains exactly how Plan B works, and what medical ethics requires. He clearly explains that Plan B is NOT an abortifacient, and why.

    He was quite clear:

    “It’s also extremely important to make it clear that Plan B is not the abortion pill, RU-486, although many people confuse the two. Plan B does not work if a woman is already pregnant and will not have any effect on an existing pregnancy. In fact, data show that when Plan B is used after pregnancy is established, it increases neither the rate of pregnancy loss nor the frequency of fetal abnormalities.”

    Read his entire statement here:

  14. on 15 Mar 2007 at 12:33 pmModernFemme

    Oh crap, matt. You really got Peter today. I’ve read your post about 3 times, and, well, your obtuseness is about the only thing that IS clear.

    Just for future reference, teaching kids about sex doesn’t make them have it – but it incourages more of it, allowing gay marriage doesn’t make more people gay – but it pretends father’s don’t matter, and offering abortafacients (see the Plan B webite yourself – “Plan B® may also work by preventing it (the fertilized egg) from attaching to the uterus (womb)”) to a rape victim isn’t an order that they take it – but it does facilitate killing someone. And, by the way, that’s not religion, it’s science.

  15. on 15 Mar 2007 at 1:07 pmPeter

    Thanks, ModernFemme–“obtuseness” is indeed the word for it.

    Matt, I address your point again in today’s post.

  16. on 16 Mar 2007 at 8:12 pmBryce

    Matt, or Chele,
    You left-wingers still haven’t answered my question. Why should CATHOLIC (emphasis on CATHOLIC), be forced to live by your doctrine. I anxiously await you lies, deceit, and evilness you cleverly disguise as an answer.
    I read the testimony of Dr. Davidoff. I found it interesting, educational, and it made me question the plan B as an abortion. Then I woke up and realized that yup it is am abortion, and yup you could have all the highest educated, highest paid, most prestigious scientists, and doctors all stand up and say that Plan B is not an abortion pill, that it is the fundamental and ethical obligation of doctors and hospitals to provide complete medical care to the patient. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. What you all fail to see is that when a women that has just been rapped, and is ovulating, walks into a CATHOLIC hospital there isn’t just 1 patient any more there are 2. That is where your forced doctrine would clash with the Catholic doctrine, therefore you left-wingers would be infringing on the 1st amendment freedom of religion.

  17. on 17 Mar 2007 at 10:50 amchele


    Believe it or not, I defend Catholic hospitals’ and Catholic doctors’ right to refuse to perform abortions. And I take a certain amount of flack for that. My feeling is that everyone is entitled to his/her beliefs and the free practice of those beliefs — AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT FORCE THEM ON OTHER PEOPLE.

    Rape is not a sex crime; it is a crime of violent assault.
    A rape victim is exactly that: a victim. Her most private self has been viciously assaulted and invaded. She has a small window of opportunity to avoid that invasion resulting in pregnancy, to stop the unwanted fertilization from occurring. If you did read Dr. Davidoff’s testimony you know that the more time passes, the greater the chance of fertilization.

    Catholic hospitals first test for ovulation. If the woman is NOT ovulating, they will give her the drug. If she IS ovulating, they will deny her the drug.

    If the woman is ovulating, she is not yet necessarily pregnant. The sperm may not yet have connected with the egg. She has the potential to become pregnant. She MIGHT become pregnant. And, if the Catholic hospital has its way, she WILL become pregnant. Rather than act in a timely fashion and administer the drug so that she does not become pregnant, they will effectively maximize the chance of fertilization occurring.

    To my mind, refusing the drug is facilitating the impregnation of the victim with the rapist’s sperm. It is simply prolonging the rape.

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