Starting today, 27 counties in Illinois are allowing federal workers to select a Catholic-based insurance plan that does not cover abortion, contraceptives or fertility treatment.  Run by the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, OSF HealthPlans is being touted as an example of the faith-based initiatives favored by President Bush.

Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said the plan was an “inappropriate” use of federal funds, one that “is blatantly designed to foster one religion’s point of view.”

Catholic League president William Donohue responded as follows:

“The taxpayers are forced to fork over a quarter-billion dollars of federal funds each year to support Planned Parenthood’s agenda.  But all of a sudden the officials at the so-called pro-choice organization feel threatened by some Catholic nuns and want to deny federal workers   freedom of choice.  So much for truth in advertising.

“Planned Parenthood is afraid the OSF HealthPlans initiative might catch on, which is why they’d like to kill it now.  Having just lost to President Bush—Planned Parenthood Action Fund supported Senator Kerry—the abortion-friendly group fears the country is turning against them.  It is.  This is one ‘Sister Act’ all Catholics can savor.”

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