May 2023 Edition
The President's Corner
Dear Friends in Christ,

The “elephant in the room” may loom much larger very soon.

On May 10th, two FDA advisory committees voted unanimously to recommend the FDA make the oral contraceptive Opill available over-the-counter (OTC) with a final decision expected this summer.

The responses were predictable and diametrically opposed.

Those physician advisors who supported the move expressed an urgency in making contraception available “without any restrictions,” especially to adolescents.

Dr. Leslie Walker-Harding, M.D., professor of pediatrics, said, “Adolescents really urgently need this…this would dramatically increase the ability of kids not having unintended pregnancies.”

Dr. Margery Gass, M.D., professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, also expressed concern for those adolescents who do not have ready access to effective birth control: “Unwanted pregnancies can really derail a woman's life and especially an adolescent’s life.” She called the panel’s recommendation “a landmark for the history of women’s health.”

Safety concerns were generally dismissed with comments reminiscent of those made in favor of making the abortifacient mifepristone available without in person medical supervision. 

Dr. Walker-Harding commented, “The safety profile is so good that we would need to take every other medicine off the market like Benadryl, ibuprofen and Tylenol, which cause deaths and people can get any amount of that without any oversight. And this is extremely safe, much safer than all three of those medications…”

Many comments in favor of approving Opill OTC emphasize its importance for adolescents and the limited risk of death. But do the benefits of OTC birth control pills, if any, actually outweigh even a “limited risk of death” in our children? And is the risk of death the only consideration?

Read the full letter from Dr. Steven White, M.D., by clicking the button below.
Letter from Sr. Brigid Mary, RSM, Regarding the Events at St. Francis Health System
Dear friends in Christ,

Many of you may have seen in the news recently that a Catholic Health System in Oklahoma stood against the Government’s demands to extinguish its sanctuary flames in its hospital chapels.

The health system was represented by Becket Law, because Becket recognized that the defense of the living flame was a precedent setting defense, as Catholic medical providers face an incessant encroaching by the Federal Government into the sacred service of Christ’s healing ministry. The Government has grown so bold as to even try to condition federal funding on the extinguishing of a prudently managed and covered flame, which flame has been consecrated for the worship of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
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We need a culture that respects and protects foundational values, and primary among these values are the sanctity of life and the dignity of the human person.

CHCLA is committed to bringing a witness to Catholic health care, to the teaching of the Catholic faith, and to the truth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Please consider donating to support us in this mission!
Upcoming Events

Member Spotlight
The National Catholic Bioethics Center
Bioethics Public Policy Report: May 2, 2023 Edition

Bioethics Public Policy Report: May 16, 2023 Edition

Bioethics on Air: Episode 112: Chemical Abortion and the Courts with attorney and law professor Elizabeth Kirk
Catholic Medical Association
Medical Student and Resident Boot Camp, June 11-18 in Ave Maria,

Leadership Training Meeting, June 16-18 in Ave Maria, FL

92nd Annual Educational Conference, Sept. 7-9 in Phoenix, AZ
Catholic Benefits Association
In June 2019, the United States Preventive Services Task Force issued a recommendation to cover Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) on all health plans.

Catholic Benefits Association was the lone voice informing Catholic employers of this coming mandate.

Catholic Benefits Association provided education around the intended uses of PrEP and encouraged discernment and moral evaluation of its coverage in plans.

In March 2023, a Fifth District Federal judge struck down this mandated coverage. 

This is a victory for all employers that desire to offer robust health care benefits that are aligned with their beliefs.
Bar Notes

From the Catholic Bar Association
Pilgrimage to England, June 17-24, 2023. The pilgrimage will focus on the lives of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher. There are still spots available - register today.

Annual Conference and General Assembly, Oct. 26-28 in Arlington, VA, Speakers include The Honorable William H. Pryor, Jr.; Father Robert A. Sirico; and Helen Alvaré. The Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington, will be the celebrant for the concluding Red Mass.
Christ Medicus Foundation
HOLY Adoration, June 11-16

Parishes and lay groups across the country are asked to lead Eucharistic Processions on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Sunday, June 11th and to do four days of Eucharistic focused prayer and repentance leading up to the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. Learn more and sign up to participate at
Become a Member of CHCLA
Membership is open to everyone from individual health care professionals to large health systems and offers a number of benefits:
  • Being a part of an active community of likeminded individuals who share a common goal of advancing Catholic Health Care.

  • Being a recognized leader in advancing Catholic Health Care through the initiatives of the CHCLA.

  • Being a part of a larger voice for Catholic Health Care, a voice that represents all Catholic health care providers, through advocacy at the highest levels of federal, state and local government.

  • Having an active role and voice in the strategy of Catholic Health Care in the United States and abroad, and the trajectory of the CHCLA.

  • Having access to a broad network of professionals in various areas related to health care, including medicine, law, business, academia, insurance, advocacy, and experts on specific health care topics.

  • Having access to educational material, papers, reports and academic insights on Catholic Health Care and the health care delivery system, through courses, podcasts, publications and both live and remote events.

  • Having access to advocacy organizations and receiving updates on advocacy initiatives, pending and anticipated lawsuits, and the impact of legislation and legal cases on Catholic Health Care.