House Votes to Allow States to Redirect Planned Parenthood Funds to County Health Depts., Community Health Centers

hj-res-43-passes-twitterreThe House of Representatives today voted 230-188 to nullify an Obama resolution designed to  prevent states from redirecting Title X funds away from unsuitable organizations like Planned Parenthood.

Rep. Nita Lowey (CD 17), who represents Rockland, voted against this prolife resolution.

See House Passes Measure to Nullify Last-Minute Gift from Obama to Planned Parenthood.

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Mary Loftus Named CDA ‘Woman of the Year’

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Mary Loftus, of South Nyack, has made 16 medical missions to rural Haiti providing medical care to Haitians in need.

Mary Loftus, Treasurer of the Rockland Right to Life Committee, was named Catholic Daughters of the Americas “Woman of the Year,” at the organization’s national convention in Pittsburgh this past summer.

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Mary receives her Woman of the Year award from CDA National Regent Shirley Sefried.

Mary is the Regent of the Catholic Daughters of America Court St. Anne, #866, in Piermont, N.Y. For the past seven years, along with her other charitable work, Mary has been a fundraiser and on-the-ground volunteer with the Friends of the Children of Haiti  (FOTCOH), an organization that brings healthcare and life saving support to over 15,000 Haitian patients of all ages at the FOTCOH medical clinic near Jacmel, Haiti.

At the convention — whose theme was Christ’s words “What you do for the least of my brethren, you do for me” — Mary, a nurse, gave a presentation on her medical mission work with FOTCOH.

She  told the audience, “I found out about the great need for the children of Haiti, and my heart has been in Haiti ever since; I have made 16 visits serving 2,500 in the village of my clinic.

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Little Sisters of the Poor v. Obamacare at the Supreme Court

Little_Sisters_1_outside_of_SCOTUS_March_23_2016_Credit_Addie_Mena_CNAToday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for Zubik v. Burwell, a case testing the constitutionality of the Obamacare mandate that requires employers to offer health insurance that includes contraceptives, sterility treatment, and drugs considered abortifacients.

The employers who brought the suit include the Little Sisters of the Poor, Bishop David Zubik of Pittsburgh, the Archdiocese of Washington, and several Christian colleges — all religious nonprofits. Churches and parish schools are exempt from the mandate.

The Obama administration had offered these nonprofits an “accommodation.” If they signed a form stating their objection, the government would require their insurers to provide the services free of charge so the nonprofits wouldn’t be paying for it themselves.

The plaintiffs, however, refused the accommodation on the grounds that no matter who was technically paying, by having to sign the form they were still being forced to cooperate in seriously immoral actions.

As Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor, said: “I can’t sign a piece of paper that makes somebody else do what I cannot do myself. It’s my conscience, you know.”

Nonprofits affected include the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, dioceses, Catholic universities, and hundred of hospitals and charities, such as the Little Sister of the Poor.

The ruling is expected to come down in June.

For more news about what happened at the Supreme Court see “Supreme Court Justices: Will the Government ‘Hijack’ Little Sisters’ Health Plan?”

Bishops Reject Abortion as Response to Microcephaly

As a group of feminist organizations pushes abortion in the Zika virus healthcare crisis in Brazil, the Brazilian Conference of Catholic Bishops has stated the disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion.”

The virus, spread by mosquitos, has been linked to an increase in microcephaly — a condition where babies are born with small heads and other complications.

“The connection between the Zika virus and microcephaly deserves special attention, even though it has not been scientifically proven,” the bishops said, as they called for a “comprehensive and effective national health policy” to fight the disease as well as “medical assistance to persons affected by the disease, especially babies with microcephaly and their families.”

For a clear, nuanced discussion of microcephaly and the situation in Brazil, please click here.

House Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood for One Year

By a vote of 240-189 yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a bill to defund Planned Parenthood for one year (HR 3726). The legislation also repealed key provisions of Obamacare — the individual and employer mandates, the “Cadillac” tax, and the medical device tax.

Our representative, Nita Lowey, voted against the bill.

Now the actions turns to the Senate where three key Republicans — Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) are threatening to vote against the measure  because it does not fully repeal Obamacare.

Great News from Albany: Denial of Treatment Bills Withdrawn

albanyThe four bills that would have seriously weakened the decision-making rights of patients and their surrogates have been withdrawn from consideration in the NYS Senate Health Committee. This legislation (S4791, S4794, S4795, S4796), introduced by Sen. Kemp Hannon (R-SD6), was strongly opposed by New York State Right to Life Committee and was the focus of their Lobby for Life Day in Albany last week, which drew over 250 protesters. New York State Right to Life thanks everyone who made calls and sent messages to their senators urging opposition of these bills. We must be vigilant and stand up against such laws as we continue to defend life from conception to natural death.

Lobby for Life Day — Standing Up for the Medically Vulnerable

Liz O'Brien, Jeanmarie Grahn, and Judy Murray from Rockland Right to Life outside the Senate Chamber in Albany at Lobby for Life Day.

Liz O’Brien, Jeanmarie Grahn, and Judy Murray from Rockland Right to Life outside the Senate Chamber in Albany at Lobby for Life Day.

Opposing legislation to legalize physician-assisted suicide in New York and a separate package of bills that would deny treatment to the medically vulnerable received top priority at New York Right to Life’s Lobby for Life Day, held at the Capitol in Albany on April 29.

Over 250 prolifers from all around New York State came to a rally at the state house and to meet with their legislators about the dangerous implications of these bills.

Rockland Right to Life was represented by Liz O’Brien, chairperson, of Upper Nyack; Jeanmarie Grahn, secretary, of New City,  and member Judy Murray, also of New City. They discussed the legislation with the two senators representing Rockland, Sen. Bill Larkin (R-SD 39) and Sen. David Carlucci (D-SD 38). Continue reading