Have 98% of Catholic women really used contraceptives?

Um, no.  Surprised? The WaPo explains:  Lydia McGrew questions whether 98 percent of Catholic women have actually used contraceptives, a figure that became ubiquitous in last week’s birth control debate. She parses the research behind the stat, which comes from a 2011 Guttmacher Institute study: The survey was limited to women between 15-44. Ah, well, [Read More…]

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“We were getting killed”: the inside story of Obama’s “accommodation”

From the New York Times: For the White House, the decision announced Friday to soften a rule requiring religious-affiliated organizations to pay for insurance plans that offer free birth control was never really driven by a desire to mollify Roman Catholic bishops, who were strongly opposed to the plan. Rather, the fight was for Sister [Read More…]

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“Accommodation”

From AP: Amid a backlash from many Catholics and proponents of religious liberty, President Barack Obama announced Friday that his administration will not require religious institutions like hospitals and universities to provide free contraception to their employees in their health insurance. Speaking to reporters at the White House Friday, Obama offered a compromise that would allow [Read More…]

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You know things are bad when…– UPDATED

…even Chris Matthews is upset with the HHS/contraception ruling. On Tonight’s “Hardball,” the Catholic Matthews (whose aunt, he mentioned, is a Sister of St. Joseph) was almost beside himself trying to fathom what compelled the Obama Administration to insert itself into the way people practice their faith: I guess I grew up watching movies like [Read More…]

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New polls: Catholics favor birth control in health care coverage

I don’t think we’ve seen the last of polls like this — or interpretations of them.  Details: The Catholic bishops, backed by conservative evangelicals, say the Obama administration shouldn’t include contraceptioncoverage as part of free preventive care options in employers’ health insurance plans. Hence the showdown: As our editorial Monday says, religious liberties fight or, as Health [Read More…]

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Has the White House misread the Catholic barometer?

Gerald Seib of the Wall Street Journal is beginning to wonder: If you want to find the absolute center in American politics, you could do worse than look at the nation’s Catholic vote. In nine of the past 10 presidential elections, the Catholic vote has gone with the candidate who ultimately won the election. Five [Read More…]

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Sebelius defends HHS ruling: “Virtually all American women use contraception at some point…”

Details, from a column in USA TODAY: Today, virtually all American women use contraception at some point in their lives. And we have a large body of medical evidence showing it has significant benefits for their health, as well as the health of their children. But birth control can also be quite expensive, costing an [Read More…]

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Six things to know about the HHS mandate

From Sister Mary Ann Walsh at the USCCB blog: 1. The mandate does not exempt Catholic charities, schools, universities, or hospitals. These institutions are vital to the mission of the Church, but HHS does not deem them “religious employers” worthy of conscience protection, because they do not “serve[] primarily persons who share the[ir] religious tenets.” [Read More…]

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My bishop’s letter on the HHS ruling

The letter below was read at all the Masses in the Diocese of Brooklyn this weekend. [Read more…]

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“Radicalism and maliciousness are at work in Obama’s decision…”

Compelling words on the HHS ruling from columnist (and former Bush speechwriter) Michael Gerson in the Washington Post: There would have been no controversy at all if President Obama had simply exempted religious institutions and ministries. But the administration insisted that the University of Notre Dame and St. Mary’s Hospital be forced to pay for [Read More…]

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