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Action Alert: Tell Congress that we want healthcare reform, no matter what our bishops say.

November 3, 2009

I got this email from Planned Parenthood and had to pass it along:

A few days ago, it felt as if we were holding strong in achieving health care reform that would finally ensure comprehensive coverage for everyone. As the legislation began moving closer to a vote, I knew that our job holding on to our reproductive health victories would be hard … and then I received a copy of a memo that the Catholic bishops sent to their congregations.

As I write this, the bishops have asked all the Catholics in the country to contact their legislators, asking them to alter current health care legislation to include anti-choice amendments. The bishops have inserted letters into church bulletins and asked priests to include their call to action in their sermons — and even in their prayers — during Sunday services.

It’s clear that every group opposed to a woman’s right to choose is pulling out all the stops this week to bring all the progress we’ve made on health care reform to a grinding halt.The results could be devastating to everyone who desperately needs health care, including the women, men, and teens that Planned Parenthood serves. Once again, we urgently need your help.

I’m sure anyone who knows me or reads this blog will not be surprised to hear how angry this makes me. For a long time (forever?), it’s been clear that the church hierarchy is out of touch with the reality of American Catholics, especially Catholic women… maybe, just maybe, because the hierarchy is exclusively men. I have come to hate going to Mass at certain parishes because, regardless of the value of gathering as a community and receiving communion, it makes my blood boil to hear prayers for “an end to the evil of abortion” included after the homily, especially when such a petition is given the same time and recognition as a prayer for “an end to violence, poverty, and terror” in our world. We have come so far in the fight for healthcare reform, and to see this progress derailed by the church hierarchy makes me angry and sad.

When I received this email, I was still in the hospital, but I sent an email to my Congressional representatives right away, because it’s so important to me that Congress hears from us on this issue, especially those of us who are Catholic. Sadly, more often than not, our bishops do not speak for many of us, and it is important for us to remind our legislators that being Catholic does not mean being anti-choice.

So please, if you’re a U.S. voter and if you agree, will you take one minute to send a letter to your legislators? Here’s the link: Contact Congress. If you’re Catholic, take another minute and add that to your letter. Let Congress know that the bishops do not speak for all of us.

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