Court says Catholic Church must pay for contraception

Planned Parenthood has gotten its way again in California and this time it is literally at the expense of the Catholic Church! In an outrageous affront to religious freedom, the California Court of Appeals said that Catholic Charities in California must provide contraceptive coverage in the health insurance plans it provides to employees. The July 2 decision by a three-judge panel was in response to a petition filed by Catholic Charities in July 2000 concerning pro-visions in California's Women's Contraceptive Equity Act which took effect on January 1, 2000.

Planned Parenthood pushed for this legislation and is jubilant over the court's decision. Katherine Kneer, CEO of Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, said, "This is a great day for the women of California" (Contra Costa Times, 7/3/01). "We hope that other states and Congress look carefully at the decision and comes to the same conclusion," she said (AP 7/2/01). PP would like to force the Church to pay for birth control throughout the entire US!

James F. Sweeney, the attorney for Catholic Charities, said state lawmakers "specifically targeted" the Catholic Church because it teaches contraception is wrong. By this decision, the California court is forcing Catholic Charities "to act in direct contradiction of its religious, moral and ethical beliefs and any people of faith should be deeply disturbed," he said (Associated Press, 7/2/01).

The California law is similar to statues passed in some 15 states and bills proposed in several other states as well as in Congress. The California law does have a "conscience clause" which allows organizations an exemption if their primary goal is to promote religious beliefs and if such organizations hire and serve mostly like-minded individuals. Catholic Charities, apparently, failed to meet the criterion because it employs and serves significant numbers of non-Catholics and it does not proselytize. Catholic Charities spends about $80 million a year on social programs in California. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of the appeals court decision is the opinion of the presiding justice that the law would be constitutional without any religious exemption (Desert News, 7/3/01).

Let's hope that the Catholic Church in California will appeal this despicable decision to the federal courts and that some court on the federal level will declare that it is unconstitutional to force the Church to fund contraception. When one considers the fact that many of the most common forms of contraception act to prevent the implantation of an already conceived human person in his or her mother's womb, one can see that such laws are forcing the Church to pay for the killings of embryonic children. Planned Parenthood's "pill bill" movement is truly diabolic!

Federal judge says employers must cover contraception

In what is being described as an historic case, Seattle US District Court Judge Robert Lasnick ruled on June 12 that the selective ex-clusion of contraceptives from a health plan constitutes sex-based bias in violation of the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act and violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Planned Parenthood represented the plaintiff, Jennifer Erickson, in the case (Erickson vs. Bartell Drug Company). Planned Parenthood Federation of America's senior staff attorney, Eve Gartner, who was co-counsel for Erickson, hailed the judge's decision as, "one of the most significant advances for women in a decade" (New York Daily News, 6/14/01).

Planned Parenthood is using this decision (and the one described in the first article) to fuel its campaign for mandatory contraceptive coverage throughout the entire US. For more information about such "pill bill" legislation visit ALL's Pill Bill page. Of course, what this all means for Planned Parenthood is increased profits because more women will be able to afford more contraception and that means more business for PP! (See article about PP's contraceptive profits on next page).

PP back in Hawaii

Planned Parenthood is now officially back in Hawaii. The Honolulu Star-Bulletin (6/27/01) announced that the Family Planning Centers of Hawaii changed its name to Planned Parenthood and that Planned Parenthood Federation of America reinstated its affiliation with the local agency. Hawaii had been affiliated with the federation until 1998 when a dispute over management caused the local agency to break its ties with the federation.

The San Diego and San Francisco PP affiliates had been involved in a turf battle to take over the Hawaii program, which had financial and management problems from 1994 to 1998. The entire controversy was mediated last summer, and it was decided that Hawaii should have its own PP affiliate.

The Hawaii PP will soon be offering the RU-486 abortion pill and has obtained ultrasound equipment that will allow it to perform surgical abortions starting at five weeks. The executive director of the new PP affiliate said that one third of the agency's patients are teens with little or no money. Clinic sites are in Honolulu, Kahului, Maui, and Kona. Hawaii was one of only three states without a PP affiliate. Mississippi and North Dakota are now the only PP-free states.

Former seminarian to head Maryland PP

Planned Parenthood of Maryland announced that John Nugent is its new president and CEO. Nugent is a former Jesuit seminarian who has a master's degree in ethics from San Francisco Theological Seminary and has served as an adjunct faculty member at several colleges where he taught religion, philosophy and ethics.

Previously he was president of Planned Parenthood of Inland Northeast in the state of Washington. One has to wonder how a Catholic seminarian trained in ethics could wind up heading such an unethical organization as Planned Parenthood. Say a prayer for this lost sheep.

PP's Teenwire site nominated for Webby award

Planned Parenthood is being praised for its web of lies, spun to entrap children and devour their innocence. The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences has nominated PP's for its "prestigious" Webby Award in the categories of "Best Kids Web Site" and "Best Health Web Site."

In announcing the nomination on May 1, U.S. Newswire Corp. hailed for providing "accurate and unbiased sexuality and relationship information to teens." Yet is accessible to any child at any age. The web site contains graphic descriptions, and it promotes promiscuity and deviant sexual acts.

This nomination is appalling. Planned Parenthood's is full of deceitful information. It exposes children to disgusting, pornographic and misleading material concerning sex and relationships. It is explicit material intended to inculcate our youth as customers of recreational sex supplies and abortion. Planned Parenthood has stepped over the line and is being honored for it. Its web site is a devious means of robbing parents of their rights to educate their children about the delicate and sacred matter of human sexuality.

STOPP could write pages about what's wrong with, but here's just one example that shows how Planned Parenthood is using the site to undermine parental authority. On a page about parental consent and notification laws for abortion, teenwire emphasizes the judicial bypass, contained in many state laws, that allows a judge to excuse a child from consulting their parents. Teenwire even invites kids to call a toll-free number to find out more about the judicial bypass process. Nowhere in the subsequent pages which detail the relative laws in the states does PP even think to suggest that teens consult their parents.

Presentation of the fifth annual Webby Awards took place on July 18 in San Francisco. Nominees were also eligible to win a People's Voice Award. STOPP supporters wishing to voice their disgust regarding the teenwire nomi-nations can do so by contacting the staff of the Webby Awards.

Planned Parenthood's contraceptive profits

While doing research for recent trips to Minnesota and Ohio, STOPP uncovered some data that sheds light upon just how much profit Planned Parenthood affiliates are making on the sale of contraceptives.

Planned Parenthood of Minnesota/South Dakota has posted a "1999 Annual Report" on its web site. Therein, PPM/SD states that in 1999 it had contraceptive sales income totaling $1,994,981. PPM/SD also filed an IRS form 990 for 1999 that, in an attachment labeled "Part II-Other Expenses," lists an expense that year for "contraceptive supplies" of only $620,815. Thus, PPM/SD made a 69% profit ($1,374,166) on the sale of contraceptives in 1999!

Planned Parenthood of Southwest Ohio filed a form 990 for its fiscal year which ended Aug. 31, 1999. Attached to this form was an explanation for line 10c, which was labeled "Sales of Inventory." For the "sale of contraceptives" PPSO listed "gross sales" of $740,986 and a "gross profit" of $413,325. That's a 56% profit!

Now Planned Parenthood Federation of America does not list total sales or total profit from contraceptives on its annual report. It is also relatively rare for an affiliate to explicitly state such data on its form 990 or its annual report. But the two examples above show profits in the 56% to 69% range. This is incredible! Planned Parenthood obviously makes a very large percentage of profit when it sells contraceptives supplies. No doubt this is because, as a national chain, it can buy in bulk. STOPP supporters can use the data above to show others why PP is so hell-bent on getting our kids hooked on contraception and why it opposes abstinence and chastity.

Ore. PP gets 83% of income from government

Planned Parenthood Health Services of Southwest Oregon's 1999 IRS Form 990 shows that it made $1,407,122 in profit on an income of $3,582,184. That's a whopping 39 percent profit, and it all comes courtesy of US taxpayers.

The 990 lists income of $2,432,108 from fees and contracts from government agencies (line 93g), $408,255 from Med-care/Medicaid payments (line 93f) and $134,199 in government grants (line 1c). All told this Planned Parenthood made an obscene 83 percent of its income from government sources! No wonder it could afford to pay its director $112,722 in 1999.

This is the same Eugene, Ore., based Planned Parenthood affiliate that used the perverted Joe Sperm cartoon character to promote its program to provide contraceptives to low income people as part of the $15 million federal and state-funded "Family Planning Expansion Project in Oregon and Washington (Ryan Report, 12/00).

More recently, this tax-guzzling PP affiliate announced that it had opened the first Planned Parenthood Express Clinic. The drop-in clinic, which sees clients on a first-come, first-serve basis, provides services that include birth control pills, condoms, emergency contraception and pregnancy testing. A published report said that such services do not require an examination. This is a pilot program designed to see if similar clinics could be used in rural areas that do not have a population base to support a full-service clinic (The Oregonian, 5/22/01).

STOPP supporters can find copies of 990 forms filed by their local PP affiliate by going to GuideStar. Find how much your local PP is getting from your taxes and then use that data to pressure your federal, state, and local representatives to defund Planned Parenthood.

Planned Parenthood rallies in Washington

On April 22, STOPP joined several other pro-life groups for a counter-protest at the rally and march in Washington, D.C., billed by pro-abort organizers as the "Emergency Action for Women's Lives."

Speakers at the event included Planned Parenthood president Gloria Feldt, NOW's Patricia Ireland, Catholics for a Free Choice president Frances Kissling, and abortionist James Pendergraft. In February, Pendergraft was convicted conspiracy, mail fraud and attempted extortion for trying to extort millions of dollars from Marion County, Florida, by falsely accusing a county official of intimidation and bomb threats. Pendergraft faces 30 years in prison but was hailed as a hero by those attending the rally.

The crowd gathered for the event was much smaller than the one that attended the March for Life in January. The pro-abort crowd on April 22 was a rather bizarre mix. Although it consisted of mostly young women, it was pep-pered with Communists, Socialists, animal liberationists, cross dressers, etc. Included on the list of sponsors were gay and lesbian groups and the YWCA of the USA.

The basic theme was that the current administration is going to take the right of abortion away. Kissling showed just how anti-Catholic she really is by telling the crowd to "say no to the Pope" and she said, "Bush is sounding more like the Pope." Ireland claimed, "Chaney and Bush need a heart and a brain." While taking photos, STOPP's national director, Ed Szymkowiak, met and spoke with PP's Gloria Feldt regarding the possibility of a debate with STOPP about Title X on Fox TV. According to American Life League's media department, Feldt had backed out of a proposed debate with STOPP a few days before.

When the pro-abort marchers made their way to the Supreme Court they had to pass by huge posters of aborted babies being silently and prayerfully held by the members of American Life League's Rock for Life division, the Christian Defense Coalition, Saving Arrows (from Virginia Beach) and other pro-life organizations. Before the march, these groups had gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court along with pro-life legend Joe Scheidler and his wife, for a news conference that was carried by C-SPAN. The pro-lifers did an excellent job of getting the truth out that day. They used a pro-abort event as a means of witnessing to the gospel of life. STOPP supporters are urged to do the same any time Planned Parenthood plans an event in your region.

Protecting children on internet

As the story on page 2 about PP's web-site for kids shows, the internet has become another battleground where we must fight the perverting influence of Planned Parenthood. In fact, PP is counting on web-based material to provide what it calls a "second line of defense" against schools that do not provide the kind of sex information that Planned Parenthood would like to see kids get. Writing against abstinence-only education programs in the Sept./Oct. 2000 issue of Family Planning Perspectives, sexpert Susan Wilson claims that millions of teens are getting "nonideological information about birth control, condoms, emergency contraception, abortion, pleasure, relationships" from web sites.

What can the average parent do about this, short of pulling the plug on the internet completely or constantly watching their children who are online? Well, a long-time PP fighter in the Albany, N.Y., region, Fr. Francis McCloskey, has a suggestion posted on his Scripture Wall website. Fr. Francis encourages people to check out the "filther" from the American Family Association. For $3 a month the American Family Association provides a service that will block objectionable sites on AFA servers prior to getting into your home. This system allows you to keep your current internet services provider, however it does not work with AOL, Compuserve, or Web-TV.

Fr. Francis told STOPP that the filter stops and added, "From my re-search this American Family Association filter is the best one out there. It won't even let you into Geocities because, although there is good freebie stuff on Geocities, there is much trash that can be accessed once entry is gained. Very few filters are that thorough. Use this link to access our website [Scripture Wall] and click on the AFA banner on the right or 'Click Here First' over on the far left. You need a credit card."

American Family Filter claims the system is fast and is updated daily. Interested parties can try it out for free for 10 days. While many children may not go looking for obscene material, this filter can help to keep them from even being accidentally exposed. Any STOPP supporter who decides to try out this service is encouraged to send STOPP a message letting us know how effective this system is at protecting children.

STOPP goes to Mankato, Minn.

In May, STOPP's national director, Ed Szymkowiak, traveled to Mankato, Minn., upon the invitation of Marie Depuydt who runs Kato Pro-Life Resources (507-345-5319). Kato Pro-Life Resources provides pro-lifers in the region with a wide variety of pro-life material (books, videos, bumper stickers, posters, fetal models, etc.) either free of charge or on loan.

On May 8, Marie and Nita Johnson met Ed at the airport and took him to dinner. Marie also drove Ed to the local Planned Parenthood clinic so he could provide suggestions regarding the best way to picket the facility. The next day Ed attended Mass with brother Knight of Co-lumbus Frank Cesario and his family at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Mankato. Later that day Ed did a series of three hour-long talks at the Mankato Civic Center. Marie had billed the event as an "Expose on Planned Parenthood" and during the afternoon Ed was able to provide some in-depth information about Planned Parenthood's history, philosophy, financial and service data, etc.

A special emphasis was given to showing the close relationship that exists between contraception and abortion and pointing out that they are fruits of the same evil tree. After the expose a large number of those attending raised their hands when Marie asked if anyone would like to begin actively opposing Planned Parenthood in Mankato. Especially gratifying for Ed was the interest young adults expressed in learning more about the abortifacient effects of many of the most common forms of so-called contra-ceptives.

At dinner that evening Marie and her fellow pro-lifers, Diane Depuydt and Peg Tacheny, asked Ed for advice on a variety of matters regarding the specific tactics they could employ against Planned Parenthood in Mankato. (Readers can find out more about such tactics at our website under "resources.")

The next morning Marie took Ed to Loyola Catholic High School in Mankato to give two talks in the gym to a large number of very attentive students. In addition to explaining the abortifacient nature of many contraceptives Ed told the students about Dr. Chris Kahlenborn's research that shows the pill causes breast cancer. Ed also used scientific data from the editor of Rubber Chemistry and Technology to emphasize to students just how dangerous condom use is, especially when it comes to HIV/AIDS (Ryan Report, 7/01).

As a former high school math teacher, Ed took special care in presenting a series of statistics to the students to show them that Planned Parenthood is really a big business that seeks to get kids sexually active so it can make enormous profits from providing contraception and abortion. One teacher in attendance later told Ed she felt that aspect of the presentation was particularly effective for the students.

That afternoon Marie drove Ed to Immanuel Lutheran School in Mankato where Ed gave a similar presentation during a double period to another group of high school students. It was here that Ed met the co-director of Man-kato's Birthright, Grace Schreyer. Grace, Marie and Ed had a long discussion about of a variety of pro-life issues affecting the Mankato region of Minnesota.

Marie Depuydt did an excellent job of planning this trip. May God bless her efforts to spread the gospel of life through Kato Pro-Life Resources. STOPP thanks her and all the other wonderful people in the Mankato area that made this trip is success. Anyone thinking about asking Jim or Ed to come to their area to speak might consider following Marie's example of setting up some presentations at local high schools as well.

Freedom of information law resources

For years STOPP has urged people to make use of their state's "open meetings law" and "freedom of information law" (FOIL) to exercise their right to know what is going on in their school districts and local governments. STOPP's president, Jim Sedlak, emphasizes of this tactic in his book, "Parent Power," which is posted in its complete form on STOPP's web site at.

FOIL requests can be used to get details about sex education programs that are in school districts. Such requests are also a great way to find out just what type of financial support your county government is providing to Planned Parenthood.

The Student Press Law Center offers a fully automated fill-in-the-blanks state open records law (same as FOIL) request letter generator. The generator adjusts itself for variation in specific state laws and makes the process of writing requests much easier. If you wish to see the details of how your state's FOIL works, go to the National Freedom of Information Coalition website and click the flag for your state.

The above generator should suffice for most situations, but if you need assistance feel free to contact STOPP. One pointer worth mentioning is that you should ask not simply for certain data or information but instead ask for "a (any) record that indicates..." In New York, for example, the law does not require an agency to create a document to answer a question. The law simply states you are entitled to a copy of any existing document or record. This generally applied to records kept electronically as well (computer files).

Let's give a concrete example. Suppose you were writing a FOIL request to your county commissioner of social services trying to find out if your county tax dollars are going to Planned Parenthood. One proper way to fill in the box in the above referenced generator (titled "I request access to and a copy of...") is by typing in "any record that indicates the total pay-ments made by the county to Planned Parenthood of [name of local PP affiliate] in fiscal year [give year]." If you want more detail, use the phrase "any records that indicate any payments." Be forewarned that this last option may generate a lot of paper because a county may have a huge number of bills from PP. FOIL laws usually allow the agency to charge reasonable copy costs so be careful how you phrase your request. An option the generator allows for you to pick is one that tells the agency what you are willing to pay and requests that it notify you before it processes the full request if the total cost will exceed your fee limit.

For an example of how the New York State FOIL was used to find out how much that state paid to PP via Medicaid in 1995 visit: Delaware County Right to Life.

Texas group visits STOPP

Pro-lifers from Brazos Valley, Texas recently visited STOPP's office in Virginia for a day of training to learn more about what they can do to fight PP in their community. In addition to talks with STOPP's president, Jim Sedlak, and STOPP's national director, Ed Szymkowiak, the group was also scheduled for presentations from American Life League staffers covering topics such as operating an effective local media office, fundraising techniques, and activating youth against Planned Parenthood.

Pa. court denies PP appeal

On June 5, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Middle District, denied a petition of appeal to Planned Parenthood of Susquehanna Valley. The court thus let stand a lower court ruling which said that the performing of abortions at Planned Parenthood's Lancaster, Pa., clinic would be a violation of city zoning law.

Lancaster United For Life, the group that spearheaded the opposition to PP's bid to do abortions in Lancaster, held a "Celebration of Thanks and Praise" in the Lancaster Square a few weeks after the good news from the Supreme Court. Diane Moore, a Lancaster United for Life board member, said, "It's a very appropriate time to have a celebration of God's work and goodness in keeping an abortion clinic from opening in Lancaster County."

A report in the Lancaster New Era (6/26/01) indicated that the local PP officials have been consulting with PP's national head-quarters regarding the possibility of taking their appeal to the U S District Court in Philadelphia. One local pro-lifer speculated to STOPP that PP might try to get a decision in federal court that says that zoning laws that prohibit abortion facilities are unconstitutional because they deprive a woman of her "right" to obtain an abortion. Certainly such a decision at the federal level would have far-reaching effects. Several communities around the country have used arguments based upon zoning laws to fight PP clinics.

In any case, Lancaster United For Life has said it will continue to work against PP's abortion efforts. Congratulations to all those who have faithfully opposed PP's abortion plans for Lancaster since they were announced three years ago. Their efforts have already saved babies. May God continue to bless all those fighting PP in Lancaster.

PP freeloading draws protest

Some months ago, Kerry Chappell of Whatcom County, Wash., called STOPP for some advice about fighting PP in her region. Kerry is the president of Bellingham Human Life. She found evidence that Mount Baker Planned Parenthood has, for the last 27 years, been getting rent-free space from the county.

Kerry took her complaint to the County Council in a presentation on May 1. She pointed out that Mount Baker PP made $2.4 million in 1999 and that they pay their top administrator $102,000 a year. She also spoke about PP's abortion business, their sex education programs, and the abortifacient effects of PP contraceptives. She noted that by giving PP rent-free space the county lost an estimated $324,000 in revenue in the last 27 years. Kerry called for an immediate executive order to remove PP from county property.

On June 13, the Bellingham Herald reported that Kerry again spoke at a June County Council meeting. This time a spokeswoman from Lynden Human Life, Juanita Verbee, joined her. The Herald noted that members of the county board have raised concerns and that the county executive believes PP should pay rent.

Let's pray that Whatcom County will boot out PP completely. Whatever the outcome though, Kerry is to be congratulated for doing her homework and for exposing PP's freeloading to the public. Ryan Report readers should follow her example by scrutinizing their own county's dealings with PP and by making a public issue about any taxpayer support their county is giving to PP. See the article on page 6 about the Freedom of Information Law as well. This law is a great tool for those fighting PP funding at the county level.

PP closing 3 Indiana clinics

The Dearborn County Register (6/28/01) reported that the Lawrenceburg, Ind., Planned Parenthood clinic was closing as of July 31 after four years of operation. Clinic closings are also scheduled for PP clinics in Bean Blossom (Brown County) and Portland (Jay County).

The acting president for Planned Parenthood of Greater Indiana said funding from the Maternal Child Health Division of the Indiana State Department of Health had supported the PP clinic in Lawrenceburg. Due to its own funding problems, the Maternal Child Health Division decided to redirect its money elsewhere. Indiana Right To Life reported that abortion counseling had been offered at each of the above-mentioned PP clinics.

This is great news and it points to just how dependent Planned Parenthood is on government support. Nationwide, Planned Parenthood reports that it obtained 30% of its income from the government in the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2000. With such a huge dependency upon government funding, it is quite likely that many more Planned Parenthood clinics would close if we can only shut off their money supply from our taxes.

PP stopped at Girl Scout camp

STOPP received the following report from long-time PP fighter Donna Benson.

Planned Parenthood was planning to have Girl Talk II A Mother/Daughter Overnight Retreat at the Girl Scout Camp L-Kee-ta Troop House in Danville, Iowa April 28-29. I sent my anti-P.P. packets to the Girl Scout Camp and to the Girl Scouts of Shining Trial Council, Inc. Then lucky for me the Girl Scout Council's newly elected officers and members of their board were published in our local newspaper on April 25th. I sent packets to 13 of the people listed in the article.

On April 27, Des Moines County Sheriff Mike Johnston called me. He said he was work-ing with the Danville sheriff and that Amy Little of Planned Parenthood had called them and she wanted them to inform me that "Girl Talk II would not be held at the girl scout Camp L-Kee-ta. They would not be there." Praise the Lord! Maybe I did some good.

Donna certainly did do some good. This little story shows how one person can make a big difference in the fight against PP to protect our children. Thank you Donna!

Action items

  • Ed Szymkowiak is available to give talks in your community. To schedule a talk, call 540-659-4171 and ask for Rozann.

  • Visit GuideStar to find your local PP's tax forms then expose their finances to your community.

  • Use your state's Freedom of Information Law to find out how your county and/or school district is cooperating with PP.

  • Contact your state and federal representa-tives and let them know that you strongly oppose any legislation that requires employ-ers to include contraceptives in their health insurance plans.

  • Send a tax-deductible donation today to help us keep fighting Planned Parenthood. A gift of $10 or more will ensure you will receive our special 2-page monthly STOPP Update.

  • Pray that God will lead us in our work and that we will always have the courage to do His will.

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©2001 STOPP International
A project of American Life League, Inc.