Dear Ms. Bennet:
- "Local religious groups are unhappy with a federal ruling issued last week that requires most church-affiliated organizations to offer free birth control on employee health plans, a mandate Diocese of Trenton Bishop David O’Connell called 'a threat to religious freedom'....Health plans would be required to cover all FDA-approved forms of birth control, including Plan-B and Ella, contraceptives commonly referred to as 'the morning-after' pill, and sterilization procedures....O’Connell issued a letter about the church’s opposition to the decision, and many bishops have urged Catholics to write and complain to their legislators. 'Unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to violate our consciences or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so),' O’Connell’s letter read....'There is absolutely no way of knowing at this point the full impact of this ruling,' Diocese of Trenton spokeswoman Rayanne Bennett said. 'Our focus is strictly to fight this assault on our freedom to practice our religion in full adherence to Church teaching. But in a very real way, it affects everyone, because it represents a serious infringement of the right to religious liberty, which is a guarantee given to people of all faiths.'"
Fast forward 17 months and prospects only look more dire. As reported by the Monitor on 6/13/13:
- "U.S. Catholic officials expressed disappointment with the June 10 announcement that the federal government will comply with a judge's ruling to allow girls of any age to buy the morning-after pill without a prescription....In a June 10 letter to U.S. District Judge Edward Korman in Brooklyn, N.Y., department officials said they will submit a plan for compliance with his ruling and will drop their appeal. The letter also said the FDA has advised the drug's manufacturer to submit an application to make Plan B One-Step available over the counter without restrictions."
Any right thinking person has to realize that this is a hideous development. In the interests of children and adults, Catholics and others of good will should express their outrage by NOT supporting pharmacies making poisons available. According to Plan B's manufacturer, you can simply "Enter your zip code...to see which pharmacies in your area may carry Plan B One-Step." Entering Trenton's zip codes, 45* pharmacies are identified, possibly carrying Plan B. Unless it can be ascertained that these 45* pharmacies are NOT selling Plan B - or other abortifacients and/or contraceptives (See One More Soul, Pharmacists for Life International) - their inclusion in parish bulletins is grievously inappropriate.
Of the 45 pharmacies, I recognized four names from ads in parish bulletins. In each case, the owner seems to identify himself as a Catholic.
- Currently, the bulletin for at one Trenton-area parish carries an ad for Vizzoni's. In June 2009, I met with James Vizzoni and learned that Vizzoni did NOT deal in the Plan B poison. However, Vizzoni's was dispensing contraceptives, including oral contraceptives which can act as abortifacients.
- The bulletin for at least one other Trenton-area parish carries an ad for Vizzoni's, as well as for Episcopo's. The Episcopo ad notes, "Also available FRANCISCAN MISSION ASSOCIATION Mass Cards."). When I phoned on 6/24/13 and asked owner John Berkenkopt whether he indeed sold contraceptives and other abortifacients including Plan B, he would not answer. Responding that I would assume the answer to be "yes," he told me that I could assume anything that I like.
- In addition to Vizzon's and Episcopo's, the bulletin for that same parish carries an ad for Olden Pharmacy. In the bulletin for St. Greg's, I have noticed that owner Carlo Benedetti is indicated to be a parishioner. As per my phone message for Bishop O'Connell, I phoned Mr. Benedetti on 6/24/13 and asked whether he indeed sold contraceptives and other abortifacients including Plan B. He indicated that he would not answer and would instead end the conversation.
- The bulletin for St. Ann's in Lawrenceville carries an ad for McGrath's (with the note: "Member of the Diocese"). Back in July 2009, I phoned this pharmacy and was advised that they DO provide Plan B. Over the years, I have had no success in convincing the pastor or diocesan officials of the inappropriateness of advertising this pharmacy. On 6/24/13, I left an extended message for owner Steve Zagoreos, in an effort to get my information updated, but my message went unreturned.
Especially in light of the abortifacient Plan B now being available over the counter to children, I pray that the Diocese of Trenton is now prepared to be far more proactive, regarding abortifacients and contraceptives.
For everything that they got wrong, young people of the 1960s got one thing right: "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."
1. ACME PHARMACY (260 DUNNS MILL RD)
2. ACME SAV-ON (multiple locations)
3. ALEXANDER'S TWIN PHARMACY
5. BENECARD SERVICES
6. BOYD'S (multiple locations)
8. BRUNSWICK PHARMACY
9. BURNS (MORRISVILLE, PA)
11. CVS (multiple locations)
12. EPISCOPO'S (multiple locations)
13. EXPRESS PHARMACY
14. FAMILY PHARMACY LLC
15. HAMILTON DRUGS & SURGICALS
16. HAMILTON PHARMACY
17. HEALTH CARE PHARMACY
20. KING BOULEVARD
22. L C BOYD
23. MAST PHARMACY & SURGICAL SUPL
25. MEDICAL HOME PHARMACY
26. MERCER PHARMACY
27. MONUMENT PHARMACY
28. OLDEN PHARMACY
30. PHARMCARE USA
32. QUAKERBRIDGE PHARMACY
33. QUICK CHEK (1535 PENNINGTON RD)
34. QUICK STOP FOOD STORE
36. RITE AID (multiple locations)
38. SHOP RITE (multiple locations)
40. SUPER FRESH
41. THRIFTY DRUG
42. VILLAGE PHARMACY
44. WALMART (multiple locations)
45. WEST TRENTON