Standwith Sr. Jane Marie (en español)
By Deirdre A. McQuade
August 20, 2013
Sr. Jane Marie, and Christine are three Catholic women whose freedom to work
according to their faith is being severely threatened. In March they traveled
to Washington, DC, urging Congress to pass the Health Care Conscience Rights
Act (H.R. 940, S. 1204), which would protect their freedom of conscience. Now
they need your help: read their stories below, watch and share the brief video
on their stories, and stand in solidarity with them by contacting Congress
"Cathy" Cenzon-DeCarlo is an operating room nurse at a major hospital in New
York City. In 2009, Cathy was forced to participate in a 22-week abortion against
her clearly-stated objections. Cathy has suffered deep trauma from witnessing
the abortion and accounting for all of the unborn child's body parts afterwards.
She says it was like "a horror film unfolding." Cathy sued the hospital; but
while her employer's coercion was illegal, she had no recourse in the court.
Since then, many other nurses and medical staff have told her she's not alone.
Contrary to their medical oath to "do no harm," they, too, have been pressured
to destroy life rather than preserve it. Cathy and her colleagues need the legal
protection of the Health Care Conscience Rights Act to ensure that such discrimination
never happens again.
Jane Marie Klein is the chair of the board for the non-profit Franciscan
Alliance, a 13-hospital Catholic health care system in Indiana, Michigan &
Illinois, serving over four million patients each year regardless of their ability
to pay. Under the guise of "preventive services for women," this Administration
is forcing nearly all employers to cover sterilization procedures, as well as
contraception and abortifacient drugs and devices in their health plans at no
cost to the employee – the so-called "HHS mandate." The Franciscan Alliance has
been a Catholic system for over 130 years, but does not qualify for an
exemption as a "religious employer" according to the mandate's extremely narrow
definition. Soon they will face crippling fines for being faithful to Catholic
teaching. The Franciscan Alliance is suing the federal government to protect
their freedom of conscience. The Health Care Conscience Rights Act would properly
define who qualifies as a religious employer so that much-needed medical
facilities and charitable organizations will be able to continue serving our
Ketterhagen is a co-owner and board member of a family-run company, Hercules
Industries, in Denver, Colorado. They provide excellent benefits, and draw the
line at payment for contraceptives and drugs like Ella marketed as "emergency"
contraception that can actually cause early abortions, Because of the Administration's
mandate, Hercules will also face punishing fines if they refuse to comply —
$162,500 per week! They, too, are suing the Administration so that they will
not be forced to include objectionable coverage against their core values. If
passed into law, the Health Care Conscience Rights Act will establish
conscience rights protections for private entities that are not faith-based
Sr. Jane Marie, and Christine tell their stories in our YouTube video: "Speak
Up for Conscience Rights Today" (tinyurl.com/q8urzj8).
Watch it and then share the link with
friends, colleagues, and family members. Finally, stand in solidarity with
these brave women. Send your personalized email to Congress at www.usccb.org/conscience. It only
takes a few minutes!
you've hit "send," please invite others to watch the video and send their
emails in. We've created several web
banner ads that invite readers to join this effort to stand for conscience
rights. Feel free to download and embed them (without alteration) on your
blogs, websites, and online newsletters.
you for speaking up for conscience rights today!
Deirdre A. McQuade is Assistant Director for Policy &
Communications at the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of
Catholic Bishops. To learn about the bishops' advocacy on conscience rights,
Bishops' Call to Prayer and Fasting for Life, Marriage & Religious Liberty.
Visit www.usccb.org/pray or text "FAST" to
99000. Join the Movement!