FW from Michael Besso: State Official & Religious Conviction
Controversy in Connecticut
nebraskalawprof at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 9 09:17:19 PST 2006
Hmmm. Surely even a "victim's advocate" can reasonably believe that victim's rights do not require Catholic hospitals to provide abortion pills to rape victims, pills that are readily and widely available outside of Catholic hospitals in Connecticut.Here is an excerpt from the article:
In his testimony, Papillo said his opposition to the Plan B requirement had nothing to do with religion. Instead, he said the Plan B issue simply obscured the real needs of victims, including the need for more money for counseling and more court-appointed victim advocates.
But in an interview Tuesday he said the state must balance the religious rights of the hospitals against the needs of rape victims.
"Women who want the pill should get it," Papillo said. "So we're going to have to do it in a way that's sensitive to the other issues."
Of course, there is a huge difference between a state official endorsing a religious belief and endorsing the need to balance access to the pill with religious liberty. The state may (indeed should) advance and endorse religious liberty. A "victim's advocate" should be allowed to recognize that the interests of victims need to be balanced with other importants interests, such as respect for religious liberty and conscience.
I think those who are attacking Mr. Papillo are out of order and bordering on anti-Catholic animus. He should not resign under this kind of political attack.
"Volokh, Eugene" <VOLOKH at law.ucla.edu> wrote:
From: Besso, Michael [mailto:michael.besso at uconn.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 5:22 PM
To: Volokh, Eugene
Subject: State Official & Religious Conviction Controversy in Connecticut
I thought that you (and the Religion Law list) might be interested in the following story, about a call for the resignation of a Connecticut state official who testified before the legislature in a manner that appeared to accord with his personal religious view rather than the general mission of his state office. (I pass this to you because I am not a member of the list.)
Here is an excerpt:
Lt. Gov. Kevin B. Sullivan called on the state victim advocate to resign Tuesday, saying James Papillos opposition to a bill that would require hospitals to provide emergency contraception to rape victims violates his oath of office.
Imagine the state victim advocate testifying against victim's rights, Sullivan said at a press conference in his Capitol office.
On Monday, Papillo, also an ordained deacon in the Roman Catholic Church, appeared at a legislative public hearing and opposed the proposed law that would require the state's four Catholic hospitals to offer the so-called Plan B emergency pill to all rape victims.
The Catholic Church opposes the bill, saying that in some cases taking the pill can be equivalent to abortion - a violation of Catholic doctrine.
The link to the Hartford Courant article:
Lecturer, Political Science
University of Connecticut
michael.besso at uconn.edu
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