The Oregon Catholic Church is closing ranks, pulling support of United Way after it was discovered that the Southwest Oregon Planned Parenthood , with the donations from United Way, started providing the abortion pill RU-486.
According to the Register Guard, Archbishop John Vlazny found out about United Way’s donation to Planned Parenthood when he was sprinkling Holy Water on United Way’s new building, a place for low income families and homeless clients. After becoming aware of United Way’s donations to Planned Parenthood, the Archbishop called on United Way to cut their ties with the pro-choice organization. After United Way refused, the Catholic Church of Oregon condemned United Way and cut their support of the extremely important charity.
This isn’t something new, indeed, the Catholic Church of Arizona recently removed their sponsorship of a hospital in Arizona after it was discovered that this hospital performed an abortion in order to save a woman’s life.
The move indicates the Catholic Church’s world wide, and yet intimately local, assault on a woman’s right to choose has no end in sight. In fact, the buckling down has seemed to be far more severe of late. Perhaps in light of Catholicism’s declining role in society and politics, Catholic leaders feel there is a need to return to a more fundamentalist social approach. Whatever the reason for the increasingly hateful actions from Catholic Church across the US, it is clear that they are targeting and hurting women.
And in Oregon, it is not just women who suffer as a result of the Catholic Church’s actions. The Oregon chapter of United Way provides services to thousands of low income and homeless citizens through a variety of causes and initiatives. United Way has been in Oregon for more than 50 years, and is a highly regarded institution whose services are particularly crucial now, as the state is in the top ten in the United States for unemployment. While neither Planned Parenthood nor United Way are perfect, their respective causes help those most in need.
The Catholic Church’s condemnation of United Way for helping every citizen in need, including women seeking legal medical services, is unfortunately predictable. Yet, it is no less disappointing and very sad. For in this case, not only do women suffer, but United Way suffers, meaning those who seek services from them will bear the brunt of the Catholic Church’s discrimination.