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Our readers asked:

If my health care plan will use my premium to pay for an abortion for someone else, am I required as a Catholic to get another plan– even if I have to pay for it myself? What if the universal health care plan will do the same?

Richard G. Malloy, SJ Answers:

We live in incredibly complex times.  So often the corporations that provide us with products and services are so large and so interconnected, we can hardly extract ourselves from connections to them.  Years ago, I was in a Jesuit community that decided to boycott Nestle because of that corporation’s practices in marketing infant formula in the third world.  I was amazed when I saw the two page list of food and other companies from which we could not buy products in order to boycott Nestle.

If you can find a health care plan that in no way, shape or form has anything to do with abortion or hospital services that provide abortions, or doctors who graduated from medical schools that taught how to perform abortions, or pharmaceutical companies that sell pills connected to abortion and contraception practices, maybe you want to grab it.

Interestingly, we do not make the same demands about all institutions that we do about health care institutions.  Some feel we can have absolutely nothing to do with an institution that may use a penny of “my” money to fund abortions, but we have few qualms about our tax dollars being used to pay for a drone’s bombs that kill children.  We little question corporations that have subsidiary companies that market cigarettes to minors while providing the foods that we eat and products we use.

Catholics are called to oppose all that is anti-life: from abortion to euthanasia to the death penalty to war to unjust business practices.  Your health care plan should be as closely examined for the level of wages it pays its employees as it is for its connections to abortions.

As Catholics, we are required to do what is just and loving.  The practical applications of the Thomistic dictum, “Do good, avoid evil” must be discerned in each concrete case.  You may want to read a book like Dean Brackley’s The Call to Discernment in Troubled Times.

No one ever said being a serious Catholic would be easy

The Author : Richard G. Malloy, SJ
Richard G. Malloy, S.J., Ph.D., is Vice President for University Ministries, the University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, and author of A Faith That Frees (Orbis Books).
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