Rampant Dishonesty Continues

Rampant Dishonesty Continues July 15, 2010

As is the case with FEHB plans currently, and with the Affordable Care Act and the President’s related Executive Order more generally, in Pennsylvania and in all other states abortions will not be covered in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) except in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered. – Department of Health and Human Services (emphasis added for those with difficulty reading a full sentence.)

This statement has been released for over 12 hours now.  It has been linked from this site for that length of time.  Yet if you go around the Catholic blogosphere, you still have people repeating NRLC’s speculative and now proven erroneous analysis.  While it is understandable that many of these places ran with this speculation, there is no good excuse for them not to have informed their readers of the truth.

Lifesite of course has not corrected their initial story, nor have they found HHS’s statement newsworthy.

CNA ran with the story, but at least noted that it was critics making the claim.   (This is not the USCCB’s media arm.)  They have not found HHS’s statement newsworthy.

Father Zuhlsdorf has run with the story and found his readers aren’t worthy of knowing the truth.

Jimmy Akin of the National Catholic Register doesn’t believe his readers are worthy of knowing the truth.

The American Catholic doesn’t fail to keep its readers ignorant.  (Update 9:46:  Blackadder of The American Catholic notes HHS release and responds.)

There are a myriad of other sites that don’t respect their readers.  (All claims are accurate as of this writing.  It is my hope that places actually do correct their misinformation.)

Minor Update:  A lot of sites have reported that the Obama administration is “officially” supporting abortion now when they made their accusations.  Obama does “officially” support abortion rights.  His campaign website noted this.  However, when the controlling agencies, in this case HHS and PA, specifically deny a proffered interpretation (and they have done so from the start), it is intellectually dishonest to claim the agencies are officially supporting a policy.  Official is a first party determination, not a third party one.

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50 responses to “Rampant Dishonesty Continues”

  1. Which simply proves that with a consistent record of dishonesty and political partisanship, no one has any moral obligation to believe or trust anything that comes from the Right-to-Life Movement.

  2. I must say I am tad disappointed with the snarky tone of this post and the tone that perhaps people of good will( the blogs you mention) are intentionally trying to deceive their blogging audience. It seems to be out of character at least from what I have seen from your posts. It might shock some folks but perhaps people were engaged in other matters of life and did not see the HHS statement.

    Oh and American Catholic has indeed a new entry up regarding this. You might not have seen it yet and I think that is a good assumption and therefore I will not accuse you of rampant dishonesty as you you have not updated your entry yet. See how this works.

    I read Vox Nova quite a bit (and thank you for linking the HHS statement) but it might shock folks here but people might be not visiting every hour on the hour.

    • I would expect people to disagree with me to hold me to a minimal standard. If we aren’t going to deal with facts, debates devolve into little more than whose tribe is bigger.

  3. Yes, yes. Remember, everyone, Vox Nova should be trusted over Fr. Z, Lifesite, CNA, NCR, and American Catholic.

    Nothing to see here! Keep voting Democrat and you’ll be saved!

    Rampant dishonesty indeed.

  4. Count me among the disappointed.

    Really, the failure of websites to post an HHS statment within 12 hours of it being posted is most pressing moral issue of the day?

    How I wish it were so…

  5. M.Z I am all for facts and holding folks to a minimal standard. However I am perhaps urging we all could amybe treat each othert in the poltical Catholic blogsphere with a tad more Christian civility and not just do blanket statements that people are trying to be intentionally dishonest

  6. “abortions will not be covered in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) except in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered. ”

    So abortions will be funded.

  7. Dear Colin,

    There is this little thing called the Hyde Amendment. Look it up for it is rather important. The Hyde Amemdment says that appropriated funds cannot be spent on abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or where the woman’s life is in danger. The new legislation is abiding the Hyde Amendment (which technically is an annual rider) – for that is stated clearly in the legislation itself. The fact that you don’t know what this is rather telling.

  8. The problem here is sad but simple. American Catholics on the right have embraced the tactics and strategies of their friends in the secular world (Fox News, the Republican party, etc). In this world, actual facts don’t matter – what matters is winning the news cycle and confirming ideological preconceptions. In other words, facts are created to support the ideology and there is no such thing as objective truth. Given that the Catholic intellectual order is founded on truth (“Caritas in Veritate”, remember?), this development is rather sad. But I wouldn’t expect any change from the bubble sites listed.

  9. It appears that NRLC was indeed correct and that the administration and the two states are now backtracking. If the political pressure from the pro-life community led to a correction, isn’t that a good thing?

    Also, while I find the three Hyde exceptions abhorrent, I do accept them as an important means to at least limiting abortion and our collective cooperation. However, it’s not accurate to say that with the Hyde restrictions in place for PCIP that there will be no increase in abortions or additional funding of abortions. Basically we are extending that option to millions(?) of others who currently don’t have access to federal funds for it.

  10. it’s not accurate to say that with the Hyde restrictions in place for PCIP that there will be no increase in abortions or additional funding of abortions. Basically we are extending that option to millions(?) of others who currently don’t have access to federal funds for it.

    Yes, the only way to keep from them the abortion services allowed in Hyde is to keep them uninsured. Not only federal program but almost every private insurance plan covers abortion in those situations. We are obligated to work to see they never get a job with health insurance.

    I nominate you for Secretary-Treasurer of “Catholics Against Economic Recovery”

  11. Though we have to critique private insurance, RL’s point is correct. If there is coverage for abortions, even limited to rape, incest and to save the life of the mother, there very well be more abortions. Though some contend this is okay for health insurance for more people.

  12. Thanks, Kurt. You nailed it. People are entitled to health care insurance. If the price is that more tax monies are spent on abortions then so be it. After all, we must have our priorities straight. Your honesty is positively bracing.

  13. Though we have to critique private insurance

    When you get around to it, please let me know. So far, it has been 30 total silence from the Right-to-Life movement on abortion funding by the free enterprise system to avoid upseting their conservative allies.

    The corrupt and partisan Pro-Life Movement will tolerate any amount of abortion funding by private enterprise as if a baby is less dead when killed by the private sector. It is no longer a movement worth supporting.

  14. “There is this little thing called the Hyde amendment.”

    I’m well aware of the Hyde amendment. My point was that by HHS’s own admission, the plan funds abortions. That both sides are not disputing this is the point.

    Let us not forget that abortion is a horrible crime whenever it occurs. That both sides seem to say “Hyde level of abortions is ok” is abhorrent.

  15. “When you get around to it, please let me know. So far, it has been 30 total silence from the Right-to-Life movement”

    If abortion is outlawed the private insurance issue solves itself. It’s an issue of priorities.

  16. Total silence from the Right to Life movement on private insurance covering abortions? How then do you explain the state laws that prohibit private coverage of abortion?

  17. Well I’ve critiqued it. Then you can agree Kurt that there will be an increase in abortions funded by current health care legislation.

  18. I’m going to end discussion over the Hyde exceptions for abortion because they are immaterial to NRLC’s claims. I think I’ve been more than fair in allowing people to note their protest over Hyde exception abortions.

  19. In Pennsylvania, there was at least an argument about whether the exclusion for elective abortions equaled an exclusion of non-Hyde-allowed abortions . On the basis, and even though the term elective itself is not apparently equivalent to Hyde, NRLC was accused of being dishonest as a factual matter about whether the Pennsylvania plan would cover elective abortions.

    But in New Mexico, there was no question. Whether or not elective = Hyde, the New Mexico plan didn’t exclude elective abortions–it explicitly included them. The benefits summary of the New Mexico Federal High Risk Pool listed “Routine Maternity/Elective Termination of Pregnancy” under the section “Hospital/Facility Services.” After the deductible, the pool would pay for 80 percent of services that include “routing delivery, pre- and post-natal care, anesthesia, assistant, diagnostic tests, and elective abortion.”

    Not until NRLC complained about Pennsylvania and then uncovered New Mexico did any movement at all happen on this.

    Maybe you still disagree with NRLC on whether to oppose PPACA, and on whether NRLC is always consistent. But on the fact of whether high risk plans including New Mexico caused federally funded elective abortions until this week, you have not shown that they were wrong on the facts, much less dishonest. Say what you will, but Vox Nova still has not complained about federally funded elective abortions in the high risk pool of the New Mexico plan. Instead they have complained about the people whose complaints uncovered the funding, and whose complaints will end up being the irreplacable cause of stopping that funding if it gets stopped.

    How many more times will abortion funding happen under PPACA, and not get noticed by liberal Catholics who supported PPACA, and only if they get noticed, not get stopped unless NRLC complains? If NRLC and all the pro-lifers shut up as some people here desire, how many abortions will get funded because no one speaks up? Can we expect a liberal Catholic watchdog group to fill the silence with what you consider to be reliable information? I look forward to that soon.

  20. New Mexico has no legal authority to use federal money to fund abortions. It was not authorized by PPACA. The NRLC dishonestly suggested that PPACA or the President was somehow at fault in their unrelenting hate of Obama and hatred of the idea that 32 million American would have access to basic health insurance.

  21. Are you saying that HHS did not approve the New Mexico plan covering elective abortions?

  22. Cardinal DrNardo, for the USSCB, has given credit to NRTL for stopping abortion funding in PA and NM. They make it clear that vigilance is required to ensure that abortions are not funded in the new health care bill. He also called for a “permanent law” to exclude abortion. Go Doug Johnson.

  23. The NRLC dishonestly suggested that PPACA or the President was somehow at fault in their unrelenting hate of Obama and hatred of the idea that 32 million American would have access to basic health insurance.


    And the ACLU only raised issues about the Bush Administration’s treatment of prisoners because of its unrelenting hatred of Bush and the idea that the US could achieve victory over radical Islamic terror.

    The NRLC overstates their case. But I’m glad they’re there, because if they weren’t then the pro-choice lobbies would be the only game in town, and policies would drift in a pro-choice and pro-abortion direction.

    The ACLU sometimes overstates their case. Bush didn’t really shred the Constitution. Sometimes they defend terror suspects and pornograhers and others we don’t like. But I’m glad they’re there, because there were some genuine abuses that needed to be confronted.

    Those who advocate for life should accept a high standard of honesty, and I can agree that they have not met that standard in this case. But I’m not sure that events merits three top posts worth of criticism. Compare the reaction to this to, say, President Obama lifting the Mexico City protocols (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/voxnova/2009/01/24/mexico-city-try-gaza-instead/), and I think it reveals some priorities that aren’t completely aligned with many of your readers’ sensibilities.

  24. This continues to be the most fascinating site in the Catholic “blogosphere.”

    As I wrote in a comment on a separate post, loyal Democrats like those here have had to make their peace with abortion. They have had to choose party over principle in order to retain an element of identity that is precious to them. The challenge for them now is to learn to live with abortion while minimizing the effect of their complicity on their own consciences. Rationalizations and justifications abound.

    This is precisely the same dynamic observed on the right, where Catholics who are loyal Republicans have had to make their peace with war and torture, as well as an almost wholesale rejection of Catholic Social Teaching. They, too, have chosen party over principle, identity over truth. The two sides are mirror images of each other – rivals, or doubles, in the Girardian sense – which accounts for the fact that their posts and commentary are largely comprised of accusatory gestures aimed at each other.

    • If by “learn to live with abortion” you mean not spiting myself to try and appease supporters of a burned earth strategy for ending abortion, then I’m afraid that is indeed the case. If there were material comforts I could give up to end abortion, I would be willing to do so. I might even sacrifice material needs. I’m not participating in scorched earth strategy with no prospect of success.

    • Mark

      This is not a place of “loyal democrats.” The issue which people fail to understand is this: we are against abortion, but we understand the difference between remote material cooperation and formal cooperation with evil. What is often brought out here is that one side consistently argues against remote material cooperation as if it were formal cooperation –save when it is their own group. They always make demands for the other which do not fit themselves, which is always the way of the Pharisee. Notice how the same people who complain about giving more opportunity for health care complain about “well, more opportunity for abortion” (which is not the case as they make it) will never once stop their own health insurance with its own cooperation with abortion (which is far greater than with what we see in the reform, because it is far more direct). They, who can afford it and have it, want to place demands on those who cannot afford it which they do not have for themselves. That is the issue. The criticism here is about opening up this so that abortion can be really dealt with instead of the charade we see now.

  25. Fact is, Mark, these guys don’t give a rat’s patootie about the killing of unborn children. They say they care, but what do they do? Nothing, nothing except vote for politicians who are dedicated to killing unborn children. Go figure.

  26. Austin – fact is about every other person you meet regardless of party or religious affiliation is rather comfortable with the status quo regarding Abortion – a sort of don’t ask don’t tell really.
    Plenty of great and wonderful people on both sides.
    As disgusted as you are – the kind of countries and societies today that have clearly outlawed Abortion along the lines you and others would prefer are not exactly wonderful places and societies.
    You want to prosecute those that Abort in the fashion appropriate to your language? Go right ahead and see what percentage of your fellow citizen would welcome the chance.
    Our Abortion related laws are part of a much larger societal picture.

  27. Austin,

    You have come to your conclusion about us and we have come to our conclusion about you and your ilk. So why not just strike this issue off the list of matters of possible colaboration and move on to other concerns?

  28. Why not post my comment?

    It was a variation of ‘when will you stop beating your wife’ style of comment. There have been enough of them this thread. -m.z.

  29. Grega,

    About places that have outlawed abortion there is Ireland, Poland, Malta and Chile, all pretty nice places…

  30. Kurt,

    Common ground. You say you are against abortion. Do you favor overturning Roe v. Wade? How about that for common ground?

  31. Austin:

    I won’t try to speak for Kurt,…

    The way I favor and envision “overturning Roe v. Wade” and the way I understand the word “overturn” might be different from yours. My version of “overturning” begins with God’s grace acting through each person, witness-by-witness, and grows to a life-positive consensus.

    But, since you asked the question, why not tell us how you envision the development of life-positive attitudes among Christians of all denominations, among people of other faiths and especially among the growing population who are unaffiliated or do not believe in “God.” How will we as Church invite these “Other” people into community with ourselves? How will they feel safe and welcome as who they are? What vision do we offer them that they will join in the transition to a life-positive society?

  32. Frank,

    I would say that you do not favor overturning Roe v. Wade at all. Which is sad because Roe is perhaps the most unjust legal regime our country has ever known. It permanently withdraws the community’s legal protection from a whole class of our fellow men and leaves them open to torture and death. Not only that, the regime protects the killers, and makes the killing legally protected. I am sure the Jews in concentration camps would have been grateful for a hearts and minds strategy, happier still that the US Army was barreling down the highway to save them.

  33. And by the way, I am not “Church”. I am a faithful Catholic, a member of the Catholic Church but not “Church”.

  34. Austin:

    Thank you for your reply.

    With regard to how you see my vision, is “…not favor overturning Roe v. Wade at all” the same as “favor keeping the current system in place?” If so, you haven’t “gotten” my vision.

    I go further than your statement in at least one regard: The current regime protects the killers and accomplices not only from legal prosecution, but also from perceiving the true consequences of their actions.

    I don’t claim to be “Church” nor to run “the Church” nor to speak for it. When we act together as faithful Catholics, we are the Catholic Church. When we act together in faith with other Christians, we are the Christian Church. I hope that’s OK with you.

  35. Frank,

    Like most on the left, you have no idea waht the pro-life movements actually do. What you call for, is being done. Care to join in?

  36. One more thing. I know that we all are the Catholic Church. The Church is not just the hierarchy or the ordained. It is everyone who is baptized and includes those in other ecclesial communities. This, we are “Church” business just curdles my insides though.

  37. Austin writes:

    Kurt, Common ground.

    For 30 years I believed I had common ground with the Pro-Life Movement and was an active participant. But in the present day, I find it to be a corrupt movement that works against the common good and which I have personally been on the recieving end of their dehumanizing actions. There is nothing to colaborate with them over.

  38. Austin
    if a sensitive, nice guy like Frank M curdles your insides I imagine you will have the hardest time respecting much of anything surrounding you.

  39. Grega,

    I didnt say that sensitive nice guy Frank M curdles my insides. I said the the formulation that “we are church” curdles my insides. Sorry for your misunderstanding. Now how about how you think Poland, Malta, and Ireland are such awful places, Grega?

  40. Kurt,

    If you remain a believer in this issue, you might consider founding something that suits you and working on your own or with the like-minded. Not everyone in the pro-life movements work together. Heck, I cant tell yo the last time i spoke to Doug Johnson, for instance, or Richard Doerflinger though each are friends of mine and collaborators. It’s not like we all get together regularly at all.

    You might consider the pro-life movements as similar to religious orders or congregations many of which have benefited from strong reformers.

  41. Kurt,

    I always suspected the left wing dodge about dialogue was kind of phony….

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