Just because she was officially rebuked, she hasn’t backed
down. Sister Donna Quinn, the Chicago Roman Catholic nun who was reprimanded
last month for her years of work volunteering as an abortion clinic escort, is
still backing women’s reproductive rights, which puts her in opposition to the
leadership of the U.S. Catholic Church. Sister Quinn recently sent a thank you
note to activists who lobbied their senators to vote against the Nelson-Hatch-Casey
Citing a poem about the Virgin
Mary, Quinn noted the providential date of the amendment’s defeat.
"I was reminded of being with men
and women from the Unitarian faith tradition last year as they celebrated Mary
who by her assent, they believed, was one of the first women in the New
Testament to express Choice," Quinn said.
She also referenced the Vatican’s
crackdown on dissenting voices, citing an article in the magazine
"Conscience" published by the organization Catholics for Choice.
Quoting writer Jeannine Gramick,
Quinn wrote: "Faithful and respectful dissent is vital to the life of the
church. It enables the church community to think, to deliberate, to debate and
to grow in relationship to one another and in relationship to God. We cannot
afford to let our dissenters be silenced. They are a gift to our church."
The Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment was the Senate’s version of the House’s
Stupak-Pitt Amendment, which if made law in the final health reform bill will prohibit insurance plans in the new health insurance exchanges from covering abortion services even if women pay for such coverage with their own money. The
Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment was effectively shut down in a 54-45 vote in the Senate to
table the motion on Tuesday. The Stupak-Pitts Amendment remains in the House bill, which must still be reconciled with whatever bill comes out of the Senate.