Remembering 9/11

Please join us in praying for the victims and perpetrators of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. 

Mary, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Pray for Us!

Abortion & The American Academy of Family Medicine

Please see the email from the CMA below. Please contact us if you’d like more info and we would be happy to connect you.

My name is Lisa Gilbert and I want to update you about a new Family Medicine Section within AAPLOG (American Academy of Prolife OBGYNs). If you are in family medicine and want to join this growing group of physicians, please email me…

In conjunction with the newly formed Family Medicine Section of the Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA), we are also reaching out to family physicians with an important message. On September 23-25, the American Academy of Family Physicians Congress of Delegates (COD) will meet in Philadelphia to consider resolutions on abortion that will steer policy and advocacy of the AAFP for years to come.

The AAFP has traditionally remained neutral on abortion. Over the last several years, the AAFP has passed resolutions on abortion-related topics, addressing safety, accessibility, and government intrusion on the physician-patient relationship. This year, however, it has become obvious that the intention is to move the AAFP to outright endorsement of abortion. Multiple states are submitting multiple resolutions with several major focuses: (see 2019 COD Resolutions) (AAFP member login required). 

  1. That the AAFP affirmthe legality of Roe vs Wade;
  2. That the AAFP oppose the criminalization of abortion providers;
  3. That the AAFP partner with medical groups (ACOG) in position papers to defend access to abortion services;
  4. That the AAFP support the right of family physicians to provide abortion care and support all clinicians who are trained in providing medication and first trimester aspiration abortions.

In the next four weeks, we vitally need your help in pushing back against these pro-abortion movements. If you are an AAFP member, we are specifically asking for your participation in one of two ways: 

  1. If you are attending the AAFP FMX in Philadelphia, would you consider arriving several days early for the Congress of Delegates to speak for the unborn?Any member of the AAFP can speak for/against resolutions during reference committee hearings on Monday afternoon, September 23rd. We have prepared talking points to help with this effort and would like to place you in contact with others at the COD so that our efforts are coordinated.
  2. If you are unable to attend the Congress of Delegates, please contact your two state Delegatesand two Alternate-Delegates with your concerns. Again, we have prepared talking points below and drafted a separate example letter that can be personalized and submitted to your state delegation. To reach your state Delegates and Alternate Delegates, please contact your state association as outlined on this page.

We know you receive multiple calls to speak up and advocate on many different issues…but in this fight, we can advocate for OUR patients who truly do not have a voice.  If you are not a member of the AAFP, we would deeply appreciate your prayers as we try to push back against these movements. 

Thank you for defending life!


Lisa Gilbert, MD

AAPLOG Family Medicine Section Chair

                                                                                     ____________________________________                                                                                               _________________________                                                                                                              Talking Points   1) Abortion Neutrality – Ideally, we would prefer that the AAFP take a stance AGAINST abortion but  clearly the battle lines have shifted. We feel it is important that the AAFP retain its neutral stance on abortion. The AAFP has had a longstanding stance of neutrality on abortion. Why does the AAFP now need to take a pro-abortion stance at this time? We have concerns that a very significant portion of AAFP members would be opposed to a pro-abortion stance and leave the AAFP, thus splitting the membership and reducing the importance of advocacy for issues that unite all family physicians. If the Congress of Delegates or the Board of Directors really believe there is a concerted effort by its members to take a pro-abortion stance, then we ask that they perform a poll of the membership to ascertain the exact stance of the membership and not just the vocal interests groups. 2) Affirming the Legality of Roe vs Wade and the criminalization of abortion providers – As we have seen in a handful of states, the citizens of these states have spoken through their democratically elected officials that abortion should be restricted through law. Although abortion is currently “legal” via the Supreme Court decision, this was largely girded on the argument that the government should not be involved in the privacy of a woman and her decision to seek an abortion…it was not via legislation that abortion became “legal” in the US. See the extensive explanation included at the end of this letter
We will also hear the argument that the lawmakers need to stay out of the “physician-patient relationship.” This argument is political doublespeak for the AAFP as we ask the government to intervene in tobacco use, in advocating for government mandated vaccinations, etc. If not through lawful and legislative means, how else should the citizens of our country enact such a change to abortion law?    3) Signing with the ACOG – “The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports the availability of high-quality reproductive health services for all women and is committed to improving access to abortion.” By signing with ACOG, the AAFP would thus move from a neutral stance on abortion to one of explicit support. See the more extensive explanation included at the end of this letter.   4) Supporting family physicians in the training and performance of abortion – Those advocating for abortion clearly want the AAFP to support, advocate, and train family physicians in the delivery of abortion care. This is contrary to many of us who entered family medicine with the intention to support life from the time of conception.   The reference committees at the Congress of Delegates require us to be present in person to speak. Otherwise we can, at minimum, speak to and through our state delegates in opposition to this movement. Do not feel disheartened if you feel that you are standing alone, for earlier this summer a petition was signed by nearly 1700 family physicians and submitted to the AAFP Board of Directors. Although you may speak or write as a single individual, you share the concerns of many others.  For in-depth points of rebuttal to the recent pro-abortion stances of the AAFP and Group of Six, please read this rebuttal statement. If you would like to learn more about the Congress of Delegates, how resolutions are brought about, and the process by which you may influence the future of the AAFP, please read the following document. (AAFP Member log in required) Please contact Margie Shealy at main@ethicalhealthcare.organd let her know if you will be able to attend the Congress of Delegates so that we can coordinate our efforts.                                                                                 ____________________________________                                                                                             _________________________                                                                               Further Background around AAFP Resolutions   Regarding the AAFP endorsing the legality of Roe v. Wade, the right to privacy and the patient-physician relationship: The Roe v. Wade right to abortion is grounded in the right to privacy argument, and in the definition of personhood.1 The right to privacy argument finds precedent in Griswold v. Connecticut. Griswold holds that a right to privacy prevents the government from intruding into a married couple’s bedroom to restrict their use of contraception.2 Roe further denies the fetus legal status as a person under the law.3 It is important to note that Griswold presumes to deal with two consenting adults making bilateral decisions regarding reproduction. But there is a huge gulf in terms of the right to privacy in the decision to use contraception and the right to privacy in the decision to abort a child.4 The decision is antiquated. 3-D ultrasound, the tremendous advances in fetal surgery, and the completion of the human genome project have taken us into the womb to see this fetus: the unborn child who has a complete and unique human genetic code, who looks like her parent, who sucks his thumb, who moves away from the ultrasound probe pressing against her mother’s abdomen, who practices breathing and has a developed neurologic system that enables him to feel pain.   This is the unborn child who now undergoes life saving intrauterine surgery and can survive outside of the womb as early as 23 weeks gestation. Physicians are pushing back the age of viability every year. We now understand that this unborn human is a person under any definition of personhood. The right to privacy cannot encompass all privately made decisions-by the individual or by the patient and physician within their relationship-because the right to privacy does not allow one individual to harm or kill another innocent human being.   The argument can thus be made that although Roe is technically the law of the land, its reasoning is based upon a faulty understanding of human life and personhood in the womb.It follows that its argument of a right to privacy in abortion thereby is no longer a valid one. The AAFP should at a minimum elect to stay neutral regarding Roe, as it is now a controversial decision based on antiquated science.6   Regarding joining with ACOG: The American College/Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has long been aligned with pro-abortion groups. Its political nature (and advocacy for pro-abortion policies) through the Congress and its political action committee (OB-GynPAC) is overt. But the purpose of AAFP has never been one of playing politics; rather, its purpose is to represent ALL of its members as its members care for patients throughout the United States and the world. The AAFP should stand for life for all patients. Physician killing – whether in the womb or at the bedside of a terminally ill person-should never be endorsed; however, if the AAFP is uncomfortable taking such a “pro-life” position, it should at least default to a “do no harm” stance and proclaim neutrality on these issues.

Thank You – Catholics @ URMC

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Catholics @ URMC meeting today!

We had a great conversation about living an authentically Catholic life while working in healthcare.

We hope to see you at our next meeting, which will be September 19th

If you are not able to physically join us at URMC, we do have the ability to video conference.  If you’d like to know more please contact us here.

Catholics @ URMC Meetings

Catholics @ URMC is a collaboration between the UR Newman Center and the Finger Lakes Guild that aims to bring together Catholics, and non-Catholics, to provide mutual support for those working in the health professions. We are planning to meet monthly at noon. We will open by praying Sext (the Midday prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours) and then having an open discussion about either a preselected topic or whatever may be on the minds and hearts of those in attendance. Meeting Schedule:
  • July 8, 12:10 – 12:50, back right of the Strong Cafeteria
    • Topic – Future of Catholics @ URMC
  • August 2, 12:10 – 12:50, back right of the Strong Cafeteria
    • Topic – Challenges to Living the Faith at Work
  • September 19 October 2nd, 12:10 – 12:50, back right of the Strong Cafeteria
    • Topic – Real-World Impact of Physician- Assisted Suicide in NYS
If you are not familiar with the Liturgy of the Hours fear not, you are not alone! It’s quite easy using the iBreviary app and we’ll all walk through it together.

AMA Upholds Stance Against Assisted Suicide!

Excellent news from the AMA!

Catholic Medical Association Applauds AMA for Upholding Opposition to Assisted Suicide

PHILADELPHIA, PA– June 12, 2019 – The Catholic Medical Association applauds the American Medical Association (AMA) for upholding the dignity of life and remaining opposed to Assisted Suicide.

Read more…



Help Stop Surrogacy!

From Suzanne Stack, Life Issues Coordinator of the Diocese of Rochester

In an interview last week, Governor Cuomo prioritized legalization of surrogacy contracts for passage before the end of the session (scheduled for June 19!). Attached is the NYS Catholic Conference Memo of Opposition on this, which highlights the harm of surrogacy to the women who are impregnated and the children born of such contracts.  Commercial surrogacy has been banned in almost all of the European Union, and more recently in India, Nepal, and Cambodia due to the exploitation of poor and vulnerable women. It has also been banned in New York since 1992 when Governor Mario Cuomo signed the ban into law.  Now his son is pushing to inexplicably reverse that law.

Assemblywoman Jamie Romeo is new to Albany as she was elected to former Assemblyman Joe Morelle’s district last November. Her position on commercial surrogacy is unknown, and there are some fiercely pro-choice women in the Assembly Democratic conference who have loudly voiced their concerns on this. They are undoubtedly trying to win her over.  We urgently need to let Assemblywoman Jamie Romeo know that plenty of concerned voters in Rochester oppose commercial surrogacy as exploitive of and dangerous to women and children (Jamie is the proud mother of a young boy). Callers from anywhere in the Rochester area are helpful.  This is especially urgent for those who live in Assemblywoman Romeo’s district: Brighton, Irondequoit, Charlotte and western parts of the city as well eastern parts of the city.

Please call Assemblywoman Jamie Romeo’s Albany office right away: 518-455-5373

Here’s a sample script of what to say:

“I’m calling as a concerned doctor/nurse/etc to oppose commercial surrogacy. 

It exploits vulnerable women, who will be enticed to rent out their wombs and put their health at considerable risk.

It also exploits children, treating them as products to be manufactured and sold.

Lifting New York’s ban on commercial surrogacy will lead to grave human rights violations.”

Thank you for standing up for the inherent value and dignity of women and children!

You may not get to say all of this, so emphasize that commercial surrogacy exploits women, or exploits women and children. It will be helpful if you can also share health concerns. If you would like to share more on health concerns, please send an email as well as calling.  You can personalize the email message at the NYS Catholic Conference Action Center.

Thank you for standing up for the inherent value and dignity of women and children!

Suzanne Stack

Life Issues Coordinator

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester

1150 Buffalo Rd

Rochester, NY 14624-1823

585-328-3210 x1304