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"This lawsuit is the height of hypocrisy.... It is frankly not surprising that a group like NFPHRA [the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association] would rush to court. When abortion activists rail in the democratic arena, as they so often do, they turn to the courts to achieve their goals," said Cathy Cleaver Ruse, spokeswoman for the USCCB's Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities. [Zenit, "Lawsuit against conscience protection assailed as hypocrisy," December 14, 2004.]

Despite Ms. Cleaver Ruse's outrage about prochoice groups appealing to the court system when bad legislation is passed, the Catholic hierarchy is no stranger to exactly that tactic when it "fails in the democratic arena." Some recent examples include:

2004: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany v. 6regory V. Serio, Superindendent, NYS Department of Insurance. The USCCB filed an amicus brief on behalf of Catholic Charities in opposition to a New York State requirement that it offers employees contraception insurance coverage.

2003: State of Oregon v. John Ashcroft. The USCCB filed an amicus brief opposing Oregon's Measure 16, which legalized assisted suicide.

2003: Snetsinger v. Montana University System. The Montana Catholic Conference filed an amicus brief in a case in which two same-sex couples sued the Montana University system seeking spousal benefits.

2002: Devlin v. City of Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference filed an amicus brief in a case opposing the extension of benefits to registered, same-sex "life partners" of city employees.

2001: Catholic Charities v. State of California. Catholic Charities of Sacramento filed suit against a law requiring it to comply with the California Women's Contraception Equity Act whereby it must provide insurance coverage for prescription contraception to its employees when coverage covers other prescription drugs.

1999: Boy Scouts of America v. James Dale. The USCCB and the New Jersey Catholic Conference filed a joint amicus brief in support of the Boy Scouts' policy against hiring gays as scout leaders.

1999: Don 5tenberg, Attorney General of the State of Nebraska v. Carhart, M.D., Leroy. The USCCB filed an amicus brief in support of Nebraska's "partial-birth abortion" ban.
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Title Annotation:In Catholic Circles; cases
Publication:Conscience
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2005
Words:343
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