Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Letters to the Editor

(From the , 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

Regarding Letters to the Editor

The Inland Register welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should be no longer than 500 words. Letters must be signed, with address and phone number for contact, but names will be withheld upon request. Letters may be edited for length or clarity. Remember to be charitable.

Send letters to:

  • Inland Register | P.O. Box 48 | Spokane, WA 99210-0048
  • E-mail:
    Fax: (509) 358-7302

    Health reform


    (Regarding “Specifics begin to emerge on nation’s hottest topic: health reform,” by Nancy Frazier O’Brien of Catholic News Service (IR 7/2/09)):

    As a Catholic family physician, I’m very concerned about the proposed “health reform.” I found it particularly disturbing that no where in Nancy’s article did she mention how current proposed legislation will mandate abortion.

    Under the healthcare plan, virtually every American will eventually be forced into a plan that mandates abortion by requiring individuals to buy health insurance that meets minimum benefits standards determined by unelected government bureaucrats. If the law does not clearly state that abortion is excluded, abortion automatically becomes a minimum required benefit.

    Americans don’t support this and don’t support paying for abortions. The proposed healthcare bill amounts to a bailout for the abortion industry, which is swimming in profits already. Taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize this controversial industry.

    Since abortion is mandated in the healthcare bill, every insurance plan will have to cover it and provide means necessary to obtain an abortion.

    “No health care reform plan should compel us or others to pay for the destruction of human life, whether through government funding or mandatory coverage of abortion,” wrote Bishop William Murphy, representing the USCCB, in a letter to Congress July 17. “Genuine health care reform that protects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and a vital national obligation.... Health care reform cannot be a vehicle for abandoning this consensus which respects freedom of conscience and honors our best American traditions” (“Bishop Murphy to Congress: health care must be universal,” IR 7/30/09).

    Tell Congress to vote “no” on any healthcare bill that does not include language to explicitly exclude abortion. No one should be forced to pay for abortions.

    Deidre A. Wilson DO, Spokane

    ‘Party of Death’?


    I am writing in response to a letter written by Edward Mertens concerning “God-given babies” (“Letters to the Editor,” IR 7/30/09).

    I am sure that I will get a lot of flack from this letter, but I am getting tired of hearing about the Democrats being the “Party of Death.” What does this mean? Are they the “Party of Death” because they openly say that they respect a woman’s right to choose? And really, just because that is what the party believes, it doesn’t mean that each individual really supports that statement when it comes to abortion. Our purpose in life as Christians is to help those who are less fortunate than us. Along with the issue of abortion, there are many aspects to that statement that a person has to weigh out to make an informed decision. I have to wonder if an individual is truly making an “informed decision” if they are solely voting Republican because of one issue, abortion?

    In 1973, when Roe vs. Wade was decided, we had a Republican president in office, Richard Nixon. Along with a Republican president, the Supreme Court consisted of six justices who were nominated by Republican presidents and three justices who were nominated by Democratic presidents. Even today, there are six justices who were nominated by Republican presidents, and soon there will be three who were nominated by Democratic presidents.

    It has been 38 years since Roe vs. Wade was first argued before the Supreme Court. In those 38 years, we have had 26 years with Republican presidents and 12 years with Democratic presidents. Tell me, then, why hasn’t the Republican Party overturned Roe vs. Wade? And since they, the Republican Party, were the majority during this time, shouldn’t the Republican Party be considered the “Party of Death”?

    Sometimes, actions speak louder than words.

    Instead of casting stones, maybe you should concentrate on educating our youth about abortion. Knowledge is power and education is the key to ending abortion. But then, that’s not very dramatic.

    Name withheld by request

    Time to take a stand


    The letter by Lorraine Derig in the June 11, 2009 edition quite well articulated the concerns of many Catholics today. Perhaps some facts will also be of help.

    For instance, Saddam Hussein murdered 100,000 innocent citizens of his own country before our intervention stopped him. Militants in Iraq killed thousands and thousands of fellow citizens because they disagreed philosophically. Yes, many hundreds of innocent people have been killed unintentionally during this conflict, but the operative word is unintentionally. The tenets of the Catholic Church are against war except when lives are in jeopardy.

    On the other hand, abortion in the U.S. alone has killed 50 million innocent lives. Again, the operative word is innocent. A killed fetus has no culpability other than it is unwanted. Few people are willing to stand up to save their lives. The Catholic Church and the Bishops Conference have very strongly stated that abortion other than to save the life of the mother is blatantly against the tenets of our religion.

    > Let’s set aside the very questionable attempts of Obama concerning our faltering economy and his progression toward moving our country to socialism and look at the underlying reasons for the Notre Dame controversy in the light of our Catholic teachings on abortion. Obama as an Illinois senator voted “no” four times on the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. As a U.S. senator from 2005-2008 his vote was 100 percent pro-abortion. He has publicly stated his support of the Freedom of Choice Act, which would wipe out all state laws regulating abortion and allow no conscientious objection for doctors and pharmacists. He reversed the Mexico City Act, which takes our faltering tax dollars and gives them to overseas organizations to perform and promote abortion. And he has appointed at least 15 very openly pro-abortion persons to positions of great influence. This is only a quick summary of his pro-abortion activism.

    Since polls indicate that 50 percent of individuals who identify themselves as Catholic are pro-abortion, perhaps it is time for all our priests and bishops to join the 70-plus bishops who courageously chose to take a stand concerning the Notre Dame controversy. I’m sure our entire diocese would benefit from clarification on these issues, especially from our own Bishop Skylstad.

    Virginia Just, Waitsburg, Wash.

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