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Monday
May072012

Melinda Gates Makes Global Contraception & Family Planning Top Priority of Gates Foundation | Sibelius at Georgetown

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Besides trying to save Planned Parenthood for American women, there is probably no issue that upsets me more in life than the Catholic Church’s refusal to allow contraception in poor countries. American women had better fasten our own seat belts, because the bishops are on the march here in America to end contraception, too.

Reading now that Melinda Gates has made a decision that family planning will be her signature issue and a primary public health priority nearly has me weeping. Michelle Goldberg shares the news that the Gates Foundation will convene a summit of world leaders in London in July, to begin raising the $4 billion the foundation will need to get 120 million more women access to contraceptives by 2020.

Melinda Gates says that she will also invest in sponsoring research in the “long-neglected field of contraceptive research, seeking entirely new methods of birth control.” Melinda seeks to galvanize a global movement.

Gates believes that by focusing on the lives of women and children, and by making it clear that the agenda is neither coercive population control nor abortion, the controversy over international family-planning programs can be defused. Right now, she points out, 100,000 women annually die in childbirth after unintended pregnancies. Six hundred thousand babies born to women who didn’t want to be pregnant die in the first month of life. “She is somebody who really sees this as a public-health necessity,” says Melanne Verveer, the United States ambassador at large for global women’s issues. “I think she believes, and I hope she is right, that people of different political persuasions can come together on this issue.”

Melinda Gates on Contraception

“You get her out in the field with a group of women, she is totally in her element,” a foundation official says. (Courtesy of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation)Melinda Gates won’t have an easy time launching this new initiative. Susan Yoshihara, director of research at the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute — a huge factor in resisting foreign aid or philanthropy dollars for family planning programs — says about the initiative: ““If she wants to put money into it, that’s fine, but she doesn’t get to say no one gets to argue with me.”

After making her announcement in April at a TEDxChange conference in Berlin, the headlines were devastating.

“Melinda Gates Promotes Abortion at Mtg, Attacks Catholics,” read a headline on LifeNews.com. The U.K. Catholic Herald’s Francis Phillips was more measured, saying, “It is always a disappointment when a public figure of great wealth, standing or power explains that although they are loyal Catholics they think Church teaching is wrong—predictably on moral matters.”

See TEDxChange.org — How Have Contraceptives Changed Your Life.

Georgetown Rebels, Invites Sibelius

Days after the Vatican demanded that Catholic bishops be put in charge of teachers at America’s Catholic Universities, and all speakers and talks be subject to bishops’ approval, Georgetown University has fired back by inviting US Secy of Health and Human Services Kathleen Silbelius, a Catholic who lives in the bullseye of bishops’ scorn, to give the policy institute’s commencement address.

Sebelius announced the Obama Administration contraception mandate compromise, an action that has caused the Catholic Church to launch a “fortnight of freedom” crying that the church is being persecuted in America. via USA Today

Sunday
May062012

Oprah's OWN Financial Headache | Catholic Bishops To Control Catholic Universities | Justice for Marissa Alexander

Daily French Roast

Anne is reading …

Oprah Winfrey admits that she is in the “climb of my life” in her efforts to build OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Despite her popularity, Oprah’s OWN network attracts less than a 10th of the audience of her syndicated Oprah show.

The focus of OWN’s problems may be on Oprah herself, but Bloomberg Businessweek says that Discovery, half-owner of OWN, has poured at least $585 million into the network and may be forced to write off some of its investment.

Executives were counting on using a library of shows from Discovery Health to keep OWN’s costs low. That backfired, according to the person with direct knowledge of the operation, when programming such as Plastic Surgery: Before & After didn’t appeal to viewers tuning in for Winfrey’s signature mix of uplift and self-empowerment. OWN executives then scrambled to fill 160 hours of weekly airtime with mostly new shows, an unforeseen—and costly—turnabout.

Planned Parenthood Texas Update

A federal appeals court reinstated the order that prevents funding to Planned Parenthood Texas. As reported on AOC, a federal judge in Austin blocked the Texas legislation, citing the “potential for immediate loss of access to necessary medical services by several thousand Texas women.” The state of Texas appealed, claiming “irreparable harm” if the order wasn’t rescinded. On Friday, the US Court of Appeals in New Orleans reinstated the Austin-court injunction, writing that Texas omitted facts that call “into question” its claim of emergency. via Bloomberg Businessweek

DFR: Catholic Identity

Pope Benedict XVI has called on America’s Catholic colleges and universities to employ orthodoxy in theological studies at America’s Catholic colleges and universities and to accept oversight of bishops, writes Catholic News.

The pope emphasized the need for compliance with canon law in the appointment of theology instructors, who are required to possess a “mandate” from the “competent ecclesiastical authority,” ordinarily the local bishop.

The requirement for a mandate was underscored in 1990 by Blessed John Paul II in his apostolic constitution “Ex Corde Ecclesiae,” but many Catholic theology departments in the U.S. have yet to comply.

Stand Your Ground’ Not Working for Marissa Alexander

One is dumbfounded trying to understand the Florida case of Marissa Alexander, a 31-year-old mother of three children, now facing 20 years in prison for firing a warning shot in the ceiling as her abusive husband pursued her.

Alexander had no record before this incident. Her husband Rico Gray had been arrested twice for domestic battery, including an assault against his wife that sent her to the hospital. A protective order was in effect on August 1, 2010 when the incident occurred.

Marissa Alexander had given birth just nine days before the shooting, writes Huff Po. The couple had been married for three months.

If her case isn’t a stand your ground case in Florida law, I don’t know what is. Read on at Huff Po.

Friday
May042012

UniteWomen.org Calls Out PA (R) Congressman Joseph Pitts, Sponsor of HR 358 "Let Women Die" Bill

Joseph Pitts (R) PA

Open Congress Summary: Amends the new health care law so that no federal money could be applied to health insurance plans that cover elective abortions, even if the abortion coverage is paid for entirely with private funds. It also states that a federal agency can not force a health care provider that accepts Medicare or Medicaid to provide abortion services, even in cases when the mother’s life is endangered.

The above need to know about PA (R) Congressman Joseph Pitts is a public service announcement by UniteWomen.org.

MS Magazine wrote about Joseph Pitts and his Catholic bishops-driven vision of women’s rights:

The provision of the amendment that frees hospitals that refuse to perform emergency abortions from even the legal obligation of stabilizing and transferring individuals also creates a direct conflict with the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which since 1986 has required them to do so. This “conscience clause” would also overturn the recent Health and Human Services Department decision that requires contraception be covered by insurance at no additional cost.

Based on a recent Catholic survey, conducted by Jon O’Brien, president of Catholics for Choice, only about 14% of Catholics support Joe Pitts’ bill as Catholics who refuse to accept abortion under any circumstances. “Another 37 percent said it should be legal in just a few cases, 27 percent said it should be legal in most cases and 21 percent said it should be legal in all cases. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.2 percentage points,” writes PolitiFact.

Just yesterday, Cardinal Dolan admitted that the majority of Catholics don’t stand with his church on not permitting contraception or the demand of Catholic bishops that the Obama contraception mandate compromise infringes on their religious liberty. Listen to Cardinal Dolan at 2:30 on religious freedom.

Even more interesting, listen to Cardinal Dolan talk about Republican attitudes about immigration and substitute dying women in hospitals for immigrant families. With all due respect, I’ll agree that Cardinal Dolan is smooth. But let’s just get all the facts on the table in the Catholic bishops war on women.

The Catholic Church now owns one hospital in six in America. Even without HR 358 American women now are left to die in emergency rooms and not even stabilized, if a needed drug or medical procedure could possibly harm her 1” zygote. Her existing children don’t matter nor does her distraught husband, because SHE has no right to personhood.

We all need to listen to each other and let the voters decide what’s right for the future of our daughters and granddaughters in America. As for contraception, Cardinal Dolan says that the bishops must “get our act together on contraception”. It didn’t sound like the bishops would be bending but rather launching a major new legislative assault on women’s rights to contraception in America.

Is Joe Pitts the Catholic bishops’ man to ban birth control in America?

(R) Congressman Joseph Pitts works for the Catholic bishops and not for the voters of Pennsylvania OR the rights of American women, men and families. Pennsylvanians must FIRE Joseph Pitts at the ballot box in November. Let him become a Catholic bishop because he refuses to represent the beliefs of the vast majority of Americans and American Catholics and to uphold the core Republican-led Supreme Court decisions giving women the right to control our reproductive choices.

The people MUST claim our rights in November 2012 by firing Republican Joseph Pitts. ~Anne

Related May 5, 2012: PA Aryanna Strader (D) vs Rep Joe Pitts (R) | Big Pharma & Heath Care Against Women’s Rights