On Monday, Connecticut’s state victim advocate, James Papillo, told the state legislature’s Public Health Committee that a bill that would force all hospitals, including Catholic ones, to give rape victims emergency contraception was ill-advised and smacked of bias against Catholicism. Yesterday, Lt. Gov. Kevin Sullivan called for Papillo to resign: he accused Papillo, a Catholic deacon, of abusing his office. Papillo says he will not do so.
Weighing in on this issue is Catholic League president Bill Donohue:
“Lt. Gov. Sullivan is overreaching. If he doesn’t like James Papillo’s position, so be it. But who is he to tell an appointed official to resign simply because of a partisan squabble? Sullivan’s outburst shows contempt for freedom of speech and the democratic process. Does he really think that appointed officials need to clear their remarks with him before they speak? Sullivan could benefit from a course in Civics 101.
“Papillo is correct to say that ‘What’s being proposed here is a solution in search of a problem.’ As he instructs, the four Catholic hospitals in Connecticut routinely refer rape victims to other hospitals if they think the woman is pregnant and wants emergency contraception. ‘Victims are not being denied services,’ Papillo rightly observes.
“Perhaps Sullivan is unaware of the fact that an innocent unborn child who is at risk—at risk of having his or her life intentionally terminated—is precisely the kind of person that a state’s victim advocate should defend. Looks like he needs a course in Bio 101 as well.”