ACLU demands Catholic hospitals commit "emergency" abortions

Thumbnail image for aclu logo 666.pngYesterday the ACLU issued a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asking it to investigate religious hospitals that refuse to provide emergency "reproductive health care." CMS is a branch of the Dept. of Health and Human Services, which is directed by pro-abort Kathleen Sebelius....

margaret mcbride 2.jpgNamed first in the letter, and given as its impetus, is St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ, where Sr. Margaret McBride was demoted and excommunicated in May for authorized the abortion of an 11-week-old baby whose mother was deemed to be gravely ill.

In its letter the ACLU cites 3 other instances of (unnamed) Catholic hospitals supposedly refusing to provide abortions in dire emergency situations.

The ACLU states these and other hospitals that refuse to commit emergency abortions on religious grounds are violating the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act and the Conditions of Participation of Medicare and Medicaid.

These are serious charges. A hospital found in violation could lose its Medicare/Medicaid funding, which is likely its major artery to financial survival.

In its letter the ACLU states hospitals "cannot invoke their religious status to
jeopardize the health and lives of pregnant women seeking medical care." As pro-lifers know, abortion for "health" reasons can mean a lot of things, according to the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Doe v. Bolton decision.

Given the radically pro-abortion ideology of Obama and his administration, including Sebelius, it is right to worry this may not end well. Don't forget Obama promised over a year ago to overturn measures President Bush set in place to enforce the legal right of conscience of medical facilities and personnel. Obama hasn't done so yet, and the ACLU may be growing impatient. Or perhaps the Obama administration and the ACLU have decided together the Phoenix incident is a good trigger.

[HT: Bioethike via reader DEH]


Comments:

What the heck is an "emergency abortion"? And how can they say abortion is a "reproductive" procedure? The "health" of women seeking "medical care"? Abortion is not a medical procedure. It's not even a necessary procedure. Ever. Show me a women who's "gravely ill" and rilly rilly needs to kill her child and I'll show you a pile of [expletive].

Posted by: MaryLee at July 2, 2010 2:20 PM


I'd like to see them just try. Catholics (and all Christians), unite against this president whom, I am not enitrelu unconvinced, could be the devil.

Posted by: Courtnay at July 2, 2010 2:52 PM


All pro-lifers, Christian or not, should unite against this. This is worst than forcing vegetarians to eat meat. President Obama is a disgrace. (And this is coming from a leftie.)

Posted by: MaryLee at July 2, 2010 2:56 PM


Maybe Justice Elena Kagan could write a medical opinion for the case.

Posted by: Janet at July 2, 2010 2:59 PM


So Catholic hospitals won't treat women for ectopic pregnancies? Just let 'em die. That seems to be the Catholic view of women: if they're not going to produce babies, they're not worth much anyway, so why not let them die trying?

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 2, 2010 3:00 PM


If they can force doctors to abort against their conscience, next they'll be forcing doctors to euthanize against their conscience.
The medical field will lose ethical doctors and nurses left and right.

Posted by: Janet at July 2, 2010 3:02 PM


Ashley,
Don't be ridiculous. No doctor will refuse to treat an ectopic pregnancy. When is last time you heard a case of that?? And Catholics respect women. Really.

Posted by: Janet at July 2, 2010 3:06 PM


So Catholic hospitals won't treat women for ectopic pregnancies?

Every Catholic hospital I am familiar with does treat ectopic pregnancies.

Posted by: Fed Up at July 2, 2010 3:08 PM


Ashley: You obviously are very ignorant of what the Catholic Church teaches and believes. You couldn't be further from the truth. It never ceases to amaze me how people who are not of the Catholic faith brazenly try to spout what Catholics "actually" believe. There is much to gain in consulting authentic Catholic sources thoroughly prior to making such erroneous assertions.

Posted by: KM at July 2, 2010 3:09 PM


Ectopic pregnancy? That is not what the ACLU is fighting for. Their DC phone number is (202)675-2312. This is being used as a wedge to force Catholic healthcare workers to participate in voluntary abortion. And furthermore, if I had a particular injury and the hospital could not treat it, they would transfer me (sometimes by helicoptor) to another hospital that could. There is no reason to force Catholics to kill babies. If you're pro-choice, choose a different hospital.

Posted by: ninek at July 2, 2010 3:10 PM


BS"D

ACLU = Abortion Coercers and Leftists Union. They have nothing to do with civil liberties or defending the Constitution. What part of the First Amendment (and Thirteenth Amendment, prohibiting involuntary servitude) do they not understand?

Will the ACLU force Jewish hospitals to perform autopsies next? When religious liberty is assaulted for one group, it is threatened for all.

Posted by: Stephen Mendelsohn at July 2, 2010 3:14 PM


Removal of an ectopic pregnancy is not considered an abortion.

Posted by: carla Author Profile Page at July 2, 2010 3:14 PM


Ashley, you are a foul-mouthed ignoramus, willfully so I might add.

The Catholic Church has no moral issue with treating ectopic pregnancies surgically. This is covered by the Principle of Double-Effect. I posted a excellent brief description of Double Effect by William David Solomon:

http://gerardnadal.com/2010/05/23/the-principle-of-double-effect/

As for the ACLU, they do NOT support civil liberties and the Bill of Rights, or else they would be defending Catholic Hospitals' rights to practice medicine within moral and ethical guidelines that were once the staple of secular medicine as well.

With every action of the Obama administration, they dig liberalism's grave a little deeper. I say bring it on. Let's have this fight now. Let's have the whole war on religion all at once, so people can see how ugly and evil the Democrats truly are. It's been too long since there was a real liberal in the White House, and now we have it all front and center.

Let's have the fight now and wage war in the ballot box. This is political suicide for the Dems.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at July 2, 2010 3:15 PM


KM, thing is, Ashley IS Catholic, or at least claims to be. She definitely ought to know better.

Ashley, taking Catholic teaching seriously means that in a pregnancy we believe there are always TWO patients, TWO human beings involved. Treating one of those patients merely as a problem or a disease instead of a human being is the crux of the matter.

To treat the unborn child /fetus as a human being (one that, by the way, has a roughly 50 % of being female) is not devaluing women or the particular pregnant woman in any way at all. It is treating all people, all women, including unborn women, equally. I'm just amazed that so many people make this stupid accusation.

Now do us a favor and go back to catechism class. PLEASE!


Posted by: Lori Pieper at July 2, 2010 3:30 PM


All children are precious, and all deserve to be cared for.

Posted by: Row1 at July 2, 2010 3:31 PM


Lori:
Thanks for the correction. I hadn't realized Ashley was actually claiming to be Catholic. That's even worse. But obviously we know that claiming to be a Catholic does NOT a Catholic make and I maintain that she needs to really read up on authentic Catholic sources before making erroneous statements. Basing her belief on an assumption or hearsay-no matter what she claims to be is at a minimum embarrassing (for her) and at a maximum very dangerous (for her and many).

New to the site and posting here-hopefully I'll know peoples's backgrounds soon enough. ;-) Nice to "meet" you.

Posted by: KM at July 2, 2010 3:43 PM


Let's have this fight now.

Yep. The passage of Obamacare guaranteed that this day was going to come sooner or later. The St Joe's publicity in May was just what the progressives and the proaborts needed to start putting pressure on Catholic health care facilities to bend to the will of the government, sell out to secular health care systems, close, or perhaps face government takeover. I know they never like to waste a good crisis, but they really did us a favor by acting now instead of biding their time until the midterms are over.

Our bishops need our prayers now more than ever!

Posted by: Fed Up at July 2, 2010 3:47 PM


Ashley I worked labor and delivery AT St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. They never once refused to treat an ectopic pregnancy! Never once. In fact, in the time I worked there, two of my coworkers had ectopic pregnancies and were rushed by us into the OR to have their lives saved.

Do not spread lies. I know this Sister, I am in shock that this has happened. No truly lifesaving procedure has been denied by this hospital. I know the rules and procedures by which they operate.

Posted by: Elisabeth at July 2, 2010 4:18 PM


Just to follow Ashley's thought....when is an ectopic pregnancy an "emergency" ??

Posted by: RSD at July 2, 2010 4:25 PM


Don't call Ashley names! She just needed to be corrected. A lot of people don't know the facts about ectopic pregnancies. By the way, I was once at a PP waiting room and witnessed with my own eyes & heard with my own ears AS THE STAFF OF THE PP TURNED A WOMAN AWAY WHO HAD BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH ECTOPIC PREGNANCY! She had been referred to the location from another PP that only dispensed condoms, etc. So, pro-choicers, it is PLANNED PARENTHOOD THEMSELVES WHO WOULD LET A WOMAN DIE. Thankfully, other women in the waiting room told the girl to go directly to an emergency room.

Posted by: ninek at July 2, 2010 4:29 PM


Ninek, PP is not qualified medically to handle an ectopic pregnancy. However, rather than turn her away they should have called 911 and gotten her sent straight to an emergency room.

Posted by: Elisabeth at July 2, 2010 4:35 PM


RSD, as soon as it's diagnosed, an ectopic pregnancy poses a danger. Instead of making its way to the uterus, the embryo stays in the fallopian tube and grows there. A fallopian tube is not a uterus and can't accommodate a baby. It will rupture and cause internal bleeding, which can be fatal. "Never let the sun set on an ectopic pregnancy."

Posted by: ninek at July 2, 2010 4:38 PM


You're right Elizabeth, but that's not how the staff handled it. They were turning her away without the most important instruction: go to an emergency room. They were shrugging and acting as if she were the one wrong. The young woman didn't know what to do. She kept asking, but what should I do? And they just kept telling her to go away. That's when the other ladies intervened. Legally, they must give a referral. Anything less endangers the patient and is criminal.

Posted by: ninek at July 2, 2010 4:45 PM


RSD,

About 50% of tubal pregnancies detach on their own.

Many opt to be treated with methotrexate, which is a chemical abortion. This is done to kill the embryo and preserve the structural and functional integrity of the fallopian tube. Under Catholic moral norms, this represents a direct targeting of the embryo for death and does not seek to let nature take its course (Through spontaneous detachment).

If, however, the embryo continues to grow within the tube, then surgical removal of the tube becomes necessary. This is not considered a direct abortion by the Church because the primary intention (and good effect) is the removal of a diseased organ which threatens the mother's life. The unintended (and bad effect) is the death of the baby within.

So the emergency comes when the tube in an ectopic pregnancy progresses to where it may rupture, causing potentially life-threatening bleeding, though embryos can also implant elsewhere in the vaginal and pelvic cavity.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at July 2, 2010 4:45 PM


If I ever have an ectopic pregnancy, I'm getting the chemical abortion without a second thought. I'm not having invasive surgery and losing a tube for a blastocyst lodged in there. Hard-core Catholics can suck it. I'm doing what's best for me if the embyo has no chance of surviving anyway.

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 2, 2010 4:56 PM


Okay, the final line of the article at the blog referenced by Jill
is a hoot:


Stop idolatry, because “a mind is a terrible thing to waste.”


http://bioethike.com/2010/07/02/aclu-demands-catholic-hospitals-commit-abortions/

Posted by: hippie at July 2, 2010 5:03 PM


Also, isn't being pro-life supposed to be about The Babies? Why would you want to destroy a woman's fertility by removing a tube? (I'm assuming that's what it does.) Or do fanatical Catholics just like the idea of making women suffer as much as possible?

I think this is the much more likely answer. My great-aunt wrote in her book ("One Nun's Story") about all the weird, sexually charged things priests used to do to them. Like on Easter, forcing her, as the youngest nun at age 19, to dress up like the baby Jesus and sit on the middle-aged priest's lap. CREEPY. These celibate men seem to have an abusive streak and enjoy lording over women.

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 2, 2010 5:06 PM


Ashley, you might want to study and learn before you open your mouth.

Very rarely is ectopic pregnancy found prior to the point where surgical removal is necessary. Also, methotrexate does not always work.

The it's all about me me me thing is immature and gets old quickly.

Posted by: Elisabeth at July 2, 2010 5:11 PM


Ashley:
There is no such thing as a "hard-core Catholic". You are either a Catholic=faithful to all the teachings magesterium or you are not a practicing Catholic. Your callous and childish language shows from which tree you fall. I know you don't care and will be thinking I should "suck it," but I will be praying hard for you. And not because you disagree with me necessarily, but because the way in which you express yourself is very telling of the true peril you are in.

Posted by: KM at July 2, 2010 5:12 PM


Ok, now she did step up to being foul-mouthed! Ashley, I like most of your comments on this blog, but it seems that "Catholic" is the hot button word for you. Simmer down now.

Posted by: ninek at July 2, 2010 5:30 PM


"That seems to be the Catholic view of women: if they're not going to produce babies, they're not worth much anyway, so why not let them die trying?"

If Catholics thought women who don't have babies were worthless, why would they want nuns? Why would they revere all those virgin martyrs?

Ashley, I'm sorry your aunt had the experience she did, but seeing as my uncle is a priest, it offends me on a personal level when you characterize all priests as having "an abusive streak and enjoy[ing] lording over women." That's like saying people become elementary school teachers so they can prey on young children - while there may be teachers who do that, teachers as a whole don't deserve that characterization.

I don't agree with the Catholic Church on everything, by a long shot. But after fifteen years of Catholic school and a lifetime of church attendance, I've always come away with the impression that the majority of Catholics are good people who try their best to respect everyone as a fellow child of God. (I say "try their best" because we're all human and fall short sometimes.) What I'm curious about is, are you angry at official church doctrines or at Catholics you've personally known? I always think it's really unfortunate when people let flawed members of a religion turn them away from that religion.

Posted by: Marauder at July 2, 2010 8:33 PM


Ashley, my sister-in-law went on to have another perfectly healthy pregnancy after her ectopic pregnancy. It isn't like having a tubal ligation.

http://life.familyeducation.com/complications-of-pregnancy/pregnancy/57545.html

From this site: "There are three treatment goals for an ectopic pregnancy:

* Remove the embryo.
* Remove the risk to the mother.
* Preserve her fertility."

Also, when a woman takes a chemical abortion pill, the symptoms can be strikingly similar to tubal pregnancy, and some may not even be aware they are suffering a life-threatening condition. The risk for this will be even higher with the offering of telemed abortions as well as the push toward offering RU-486 over the counter. Does the abortion industry really have the well being of women in mind when they push for things like this to be dispensed without a doctor's exam/prescription?

Posted by: Kelli Author Profile Page at July 2, 2010 8:52 PM


KM - nice to meet you too!

Ashley I would seriously consider getting your information about the Catholic Church from more than just one source. Your great-aunt may be a really terrific person, and I'm going to assume her experiences are true, but she is no kind of an expert on the whole of Catholic Church practice, or what the Church actually teaches.

And believe me, the Church does teach respect for women. Much more so than the type of feminism in the story up above where the writer admits that her unborn child was indeed a human person, but thinks she had a perfect right to kill her in womb, because feminists should be willing to kill for their beliefs. That woman has degraded herself, as well as degrading the very name of feminism. Then there's that poor fetus-cookie- baking girl, who seems to have barely any humanity left.

Yes, the glorious type of woman today's feminism has brought us!

All of this comes from ignoring what God has so clearly taught *through his Church* about the dignity of each and every person. Ignore this dignity for the unborn, and you can keep it for the rest of humanity only by accident. Eventually you are forced to abandon real human dignity for women as well; lat of all you will abandon your own dignity and humanity. This is becoming all too clear today, as I'm sure you understand.

Your rants full of hateful stereotypes are unworthy of someone as intelligent as you. I really appreciate the fact that you are getting your head together and trying to work your way toward a pro-life position. But you are alienating way too many people who really want to dialogue with you by this type of rant.

Posted by: Lori Pieper at July 2, 2010 9:30 PM


Lori, that was beautifully stated. It makes me kind of want to go back to church. *GASP*

Bravo!

Posted by: MaryLee at July 2, 2010 9:44 PM


Ashley,

Did your Great Aunt (if she exists) write that B.S. about the Priests while she was taking hallucinogenics, or while in the early stages of Alzheimer's?

If you knew anything about women religious in the early-mid 20th Century, then you must know that the Mothers Superior in charge of the convents would have castrated any priest even suggesting that her sisters behave that way, and they would have done it with a butter knife.

The only people who seem to come up with such stories are usually those in the Church who are militating for:

1. Abortion
2. Gay Marriage
3. Women's Ordination
4. Repeal of prohibitions against artificial contraception

That story is right out there with UFO's, unicorns and elves. It's the usual slur that only seems to surface during discussions about the topics listed above.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at July 2, 2010 9:55 PM


Ashley, my sister-in-law went on to have another perfectly healthy pregnancy after her ectopic pregnancy.Posted by: Kelli Author Profile Page at July 2, 2010 8:52 PM
___________________________________________________
So did mine, Ashley.

Posted by: Pamela at July 2, 2010 9:58 PM


Ashley, my sister-in-law went on to have another perfectly healthy pregnancy after her ectopic pregnancy.Posted by: Kelli Author Profile Page at July 2, 2010 8:52 PM
___________________________________________________
So did mine, Ashley. You can still get pregnant with one tube.

Posted by: Pamela at July 2, 2010 9:59 PM


Ninek,

Ashley was dropping F-bombs like rice at a wedding on another thread this week.

And as for Ashley's wanting methotrexate to preserve her tube, many women with tubal pregnancies have them because of scar tissue formation from pelvic inflammatory disease, which is sufficiently large to prevent the embryo's passage, but allow sperm passage.

As was also mentioned, by the time most tubal pregnancies are discovered, it's too late to save the tube with a methotrexate abortion.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at July 2, 2010 10:02 PM


Mods..delete the first (incomplete) post. Thanks

Posted by: Pamela at July 2, 2010 10:03 PM


Lori, that was beautifully stated. It makes me kind of want to go back to church. *GASP*

Bravo!
Posted by: MaryLee at July 2, 2010 9:44 PM

MaryLee,

Gee, thanks! I really admire your posts as well :)

I am actually praying for you to go back to church!

Posted by: Lori Pieper at July 2, 2010 10:48 PM


They can't demand this of Catholic hospitals! They are PRIVATE institutions, run by a RELIGIOUS organization, two of the main freedoms this country was FOUNDED on: religious freedom and private ownership.

If they want to force Catholic hospitals to do their bidding they have to prove criminal actions. Conscientious objection is NOT a crime, it is ALSO a fundamental freedom.

Catholic hospitals are private, and therefore have the freedom to act as they see fit.

If a woman claims she "needs" an abortion, she should go to the local PUBLICLY FUNDED hospital.

Posted by: Amy at July 3, 2010 2:35 AM


"Did your Great Aunt (if she exists) write that B.S. about the Priests while she was taking hallucinogenics, or while in the early stages of Alzheimer's?"

First, I thought your pomposity was kind of funny (like the near-constant reminders that you have a Ph D), but you're just a jerk. Her name's Sister Mary Jane Masterson, she's still a nun, and I guess you'll have to buy her book for more descriptions of some of the WEIRD SHIZZZ the Church put them through.

http://www.amazon.com/One-Nuns-Story-Then-Now/dp/158982475X

Her fellow nuns have read it, and not one has come forward and disputed all the pervy, sexually charged things these priests were doing to young girls (who happened to be nuns). Read it if you want; like I said, no one in the church has contested her validity.

The Catholic church's leadership seems to include quite a few men who are weirdos and perverts. Therefore, I don't need to follow their orders for everything that goes on in and around my reproductive organs.

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 3, 2010 7:00 AM


But to be fair, priests don't do as much weird stuff anymore. Either because they realized it was wrong, or they can't get away with it.

The mothers (head nun? I forget the term) also isolated these very young nuns from the outside world completely, and made them do things like crawl on their knees begging for food if they were in trouble.

So. Weird.

The Orthodox and fundie Catholics who want the Church to be like it was in the 40s? Not any better than the fanatical Muslims dominating Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 3, 2010 7:09 AM


"I guess you'll have to buy her book for more descriptions of some of the WEIRD SHIZZZ the Church put them through."

No, Ashley. Not "the Church." IF your aunt's story is true, her experiences were not in any way sanctioned by the Catholic Church as a whole. An apparently whacked-out or oblivious convent head put her through those experiences, NOT the Church.

I have a book recommendation for you. Read "Escape" by Carolyn Jessup. After reading about the monstrous acts committed by the FLDS against women, I don't think you'll have quite the axe to grind about the CC.

Posted by: JoAnna at July 3, 2010 9:30 AM


Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 2, 2010 5:06 PM
-------

Ashley - re: ectopic pregnancies: I did a lot of research on this when I understood the principle of double effect applying to ectopics. As I understand it, ectopics are very rare (1 in 18,000) although you might be surprised at how many individual woman I personally know who have claimed ectopic pregnancies. Very strange. (It's an excuse to say they had an abortion, but were justified in doing so... they usually give me a completely baffled look when I ask them if they had a salpingostomy or salpingectomy. )

Anyhow - the procedure which I understand that is the best/most effective and moral solution to the problem is called a salpingostomy - which performs a laparoscopic incision in the side of the fallopian tube using a water jet. The child would then be cut free from the fallopian wall using the same jet. The embryo would have to be small enough to pass freely through the tube. Yes, there would be internal scarring, but I understand it doesn't completely lose the fertility in that side. However, with all medical procedures, there are probabilities involved about successful fertility afterwards.

The salpingectomy (removal of the fallopian tube) may be required given a wide variety of conditions, including when the ectopic is detected, and how far along the child is in development.

Diagnosis and decision making about when and if in such circumstances are really tough medical decisions.

The principle of double effect comes into play as a last resort, which is why Gerard describes the salpingectomy as needed, and most in line with Catholic teaching.

Hope this is informative.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault Author Profile Page at July 3, 2010 9:59 AM


"But to be fair, priests don't do as much weird stuff anymore. Either because they realized it was wrong, or they can't get away with it."

Or because the majority of them never did it in the first place.

"IF your aunt's story is true, her experiences were not in any way sanctioned by the Catholic Church as a whole. An apparently whacked-out or oblivious convent head put her through those experiences, NOT the Church."

Yeah. It's not like the Pope (any Pope) would read your aunt's book and exclaim, "Wonderful! Exactly as it should be!"

JoAnna: I'm not sure another religion being worse makes one better, but you're right that the FLDS, unlike the Catholic Church, really does condone all sorts of horrific behavior towards women. I read "Escape" - also read "Stolen Innocence" by Elissa Wall, which was especially interesting because she's so much younger than Carolyn Jessop. (Note to Ashley - she's our age.)

Gerard: Just because something is bizarre doesn't mean it didn't happen. You don't have evidence one way or another about whether this happened or not - I think you're just deciding to not believe it because you don't want to believe it and you and Ashley aren't exactly big buddies. I don't know whether it's true or not, but if none of Ashley's aunt's fellow sisters have denied it, I would guess it probably is.

Posted by: Marauder at July 3, 2010 10:04 AM


"IF your aunt's story is true, her experiences were not in any way sanctioned by the Catholic Church as a whole."

Um, no. The baby Jesus thing--where my aunt had to wear robes and sit on some middle-aged dude's lap just because he's a Man of God--happened IN church. In front of the Bishop.

And them being forced to do stuff like crawl around on their knees seems pretty tame compared to other stuff I've read about convents back in the day.

If it's so untrue, why is no one disputing her on these things? Not one person has come forward to say they didn't happen.

Posted by: Ashley Herzog at July 3, 2010 10:08 AM


Ashley,

I believe you, maybe it did happen, and it's awful.

Do you think the Catholic church supports this kind of treatment of women?

Posted by: Jasper at July 3, 2010 10:41 AM


"The principle of double effect comes in as a last resort."

This isn't sound public health thinking. It isn't sound medicine. The last thing I would want to do is "wait around and see" if my embryo detached from my fallopian tube and potentially correct the issue with emergency invasive surgery.

Good doctors avoid surgery if they can. They act quickly and prudently. If a man is at risk of heart attack, he's put on an anti-coagulant. Doctors don't wait around for him to suffer a coronary to then perform bypass surgery. This same line of thinking should apply to pregnancy.

I read ACLU's statement. It seems clear that if the child could be viable, they'd induce labor and deliver it. Sounds reasonable. Nobody's asking these hospitals to perform abortions on healthy women and babies. But you'd tell a woman who is suffering from some kind of ecclampsia or hemorrhaging--a woman in a desparate situation, most likely poor--to transfer to another hospital? That's insanity.

Posted by: Megan at July 3, 2010 10:49 AM


Megan,

Your point about doctors not waiting for an emergent situation to develop is a point well made and well taken.

However, the other side of the "choice" coin is the choice of every doctor to follow their conscience and not engage in activities that directly target the baby for death. Mothers also exercise that choice in which interventions they find morally permissible.

Many women would never kill their child, even if it meant their own death. Many would rather lose a fallopian tube than take methotrexate. Catholic medical care provides institutions where parents with this world view can rest assured that the physicians in these hospitals share that world view--that there are two patients of equal moral standing before the physician.

It's the side of choice that never gets recognition from those who hold themselves out as 'pro-choice'. By definition, the choice advocates MUST respect all choice and not seek to limit legitimate choices through administrative or legislative fiat.

To the great extent that they do not respect these legitimate 'choices' makes them less pro-choice and more pro-abortion.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at July 3, 2010 11:01 AM


"Catholic hospitals are private, and therefore have the freedom to act as they see fit"
Posted by: Amy at July 3, 2010 2:35 AM

Actually, Catholic hospitals receive government money via reimbursements through Medicaid and Medicare. There are also other federal dollars that make their way to Catholic hospitals. I'm a Jew. Does a Catholic hospital have the right to refuse to admit me based on my religion? Do they have a right to deny treatment to blacks? Do they have the right to not comply with state laws and regulations regarding health care facilities? And if a woman's life depends on getting an emergency abortion and she's in the middle of nowhere, USA, with the only hospital being a Catholic one, what happens then? Please don't tell me "it's God's will."

And BTW, the comparison of emergency abortions to autopsies performed at Jewish hospitals is not quite accurate. First, an "autopsy" would not be an emergency procedure. Second, there is disagreement in the Jewish community:

"As it is the duty of the rabbi to prevent autopsies where no pikku'aḥ nefesh is involved, so is it his duty to insist on it where there is the slightest possibility of it being of benefit" (R. Isaac Arieli, in: Torah she-be-al Peh (1964), 66

Posted by: Sabra at July 3, 2010 11:03 AM


Sabra,

A great many OB/GYN's have assured me that there are no medical conditions (outside of those covered by double effect) that warrant abortion before the age of viability at 23-25 weeks of development.

Even if a woman believes she needs one, you must remember that physicians are human beings with the right of conscience and can not be compelled to commit murder. Nor can institutions be compelled to commit murder, even if they are in the middle of nowhere.

Rabbinical quotes and argumentation do well in Jewish hospitals, but have no standing in Catholic hospitals, just as canon law has no standing in Jewish hospitals.

A century from now, people will look back on this time and thank the Catholic Church for being the bioethical anchor that weathered the Culture of Death.

Posted by: Gerard Nadal at July 3, 2010 11:16 AM


Nobody's asking these hospitals to perform abortions on healthy women and babies. Posted by: Megan at July 3, 2010 10:49 AM

They may be paving the way to make that happen by taking the first step of forcing Catholic hospitals to counsel patients about abortion as an option. Although the ACLU's letter primarily addresses "emergency" abortions, at the bottom of page 3, there is this sentence:

"Indeed, under the COP, physicians must clearly communicate all pregnancy and miscarriage management options to women and their families, and women must have the ability to request a certain course of treatment."

Perhaps I'm reading too much into it, but it seems to me they are stating that all pregnant patients and family members accompanying them should be given information about abortion as a pregnancy "management" option in order to comply with COP. This would put Catholic hospitals in a position of counseling and providing information about abortion to every pregnant patient and her family, wouldn't it?

Posted by: Fed Up at July 3, 2010 12:41 PM


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• Sharon Davis
• Janet Foster
• Sharon Floyd
• Jammie Garcia
• Carolina Gutierrez
• Angela Hall
• Arnetta Hardaway
• Rhonda Hess
• Rosie Jimenez
• Minnie Lathan
• Susan Levy
• Linda Lovelace
• Michelle Madden
• Sophie McCoy
• Yvonne Mesteth
• Natalie Meyers
• Katherine Morse
• Kathy Murphy
• Germaine Newman
• Joyce Ortenzio
• Linda Padfield
• Amanda Roe
• Andrea Roe
• Julie Roe
• Monica Roe
• Tammy Roe
• Vicki Roe
• Rhonda Rollinson
• Allegra Roseberry
• Tamia Russell
• Stella Saenz
• Oriane Shevin
• Diane Smith
• Vivian Tran
• Maureen Tyke
• Gail Vroman
• Nicey Washington
• Ellen Williams
• Christine Mora
Other California Abortion Deaths
• Jacqueline Bailey
• Cassandra Bleavins
• Belinda Byrd
• Claudia Caventou
• Patricia Chacon
• Colleen Chambers
• Liliana Cortez
• Twila Coulter
• Margaret Davis
• Laniece Dorsey
• Gwendolyn Drummer
• Bonnie Fix
• Janet Forster
• Josefina Garcia
• Maria Gomez
• Doris Grant
• Sharon Hamptlon
• Donna Heim
• Moris Herron
• Betty Hines
• Barbara Hoppert
• Susan Levy
• Cora Lewis
• Sara Lint
• Maria Lira
• Elva Lozada
• Evangeline McKenna
• Natalie Meyers
• Mistue Mohar
• Christina Mora
• Katherine Morse
• Kathy Murphy
• Joyce Ortenzio
• Mary Paredez
• Holly Patterson
• Mary Pena
• Erika Peterson
• Magdalena Rodriguez
• LaSandra Russ
• Stella Saenz
• Angela Sanchez
• Laura Sorrels
• Kathryn Strong
• Jennifer Suddeth
• Tami Suematsu
• Yvonne Tanner
• Michelle Thames
• Elizabeth Tsuji
• Cheryl Tubbs
• Cheryl Vosseler
• Lynette Wallace
Food for Thought
• 19th Century Abortion Cases and Other Self-Injury
• Abortion, Law, and Real Choice
• Abortion, Suffering, and the Chinese Widow
• The Abortion War and Communication
• Another Anti-Choice Fanatic
• Are Abortions Used as Birth Control?
• The Bad Old Days of Abortion
• Botched Abortion Leads to Amputation
• Coathanger Abortion: Powerful image, but how true to life?
• Comparative Safety - Abortion & Stuff Folks Get Riled About
• Diane Sawyer and the Non-Story of Lawson Akpulonu
• Did I Deserve the Death Penaltyh
• Do Rape Victims Really Need Abortions?
• Fetal Diagnoses Leading to Unnecessary Abortions
• Freaks Teaches Pro-Life Lesson
• Is Childbirth Safety Relevant to Abortion?
• Is This the Face of the Enemy?
• Is &quo;Who Decides?&quo; Really the Question?
• The &quo;Koop Report&quo; on Abortion
• LDI and the CDC
• Misplaced Priorities Cost Women's Lives
• A Mother‘s Nightmare
• Pro Child/Pro Choice Rings Hollow
• Question Abortion
• Stress and the Abortion Decision
• Study - Effect of Abortion Legalization on Sexual Behavior: Evidence from Sexually Transmitted Diseases
• Unequal Burden on the Poor?
• Unintended Late Abortions
• Unplanned Pregnancies that Worked Out
• What Real Informed Consent Would Look Like
• What‘s &quo;Adequate Access&quo; to Abortion?
• What‘s the Need for Abortion?
• When the POC Really is Just Tissue
• Where‘s the Pro Choice Movement on Elective Amputations?
• Who is the Enemy?
• Who‘s Putting the Unborn Ahead of the Born?
• Women Who Change Their Minds After the Abortion
• Women‘s Rights are Common Ground
• Your Bedroom, the Government, and Abortion Laws

Twenty-two-year-old Chanelle Bryant was given the drugs for a safe and legal chemical abortion at a Family Planning Associates Medical Group facility in California. She was instructed to use the prostaglandin as a suppository, rather than take an oral prostaglandin. This off-label use is being investigated by the CDC and FDA after Chanelle and four other US women died of infection after RU-486 abortions.
http://realchoice.0catch.com/library/deaths/bl04cbryant.htm ashleyv read this i saw your post you would want to do a chemical abortion

Posted by: chris at July 3, 2010 12:50 PM


Posted by: Megan at July 3, 2010 10:49 AM
-------
Posted by: Gerard Nadal at July 3, 2010 11:01 AM
-------

Megan assumes that the pregnancy is not wanted if there is any risk - completely overlooking the other side of a very much wanted child. I'm personally familiar with a situation where the child was desired, complications set in and it came down to a ICU monitoring situation. The outcome was a beautiful child, and a very relieved mother and doctor. I know a beautiful young lady whose mother gave up her life (cancer) that she might live.

So often people who claim they are "pro-choice" consistently prove they are only "pro-abortion".

Posted by: Chris Arsenault Author Profile Page at July 3, 2010 1:31 PM


Chris
I think when when true feminists those who are really concerned about women's issues start seeing lists such as the one you provided that the tide will start to turn. And when people see the real face of the pro-death movement they will awaken to the atrocities committed against women in the name of "choice".

Posted by: myrtle miller at July 3, 2010 10:52 PM


Chris
I think when when true feminists those who are really concerned about women's issues start seeing lists such as the one you provided that the tide will start to turn. And when people see the real face of the pro-death movement they will awaken to the atrocities committed against women in the name of "choice".

Posted by: myrtle miller at July 3, 2010 10:53 PM


Chris-
Unfortunatly, ectopic pregnancies are far more common than you've stated- stats vary from about 1 in 70 to 1 in 100 pregnancies, with about half ending naturally without any medical or surgical intervention, and the vast majority of the remainder requiring surgery to save the life of the mother.

It's very interesting to note that ectopic pregnancy rates have more than quadrupled since Roe v Wade, and continue to rise.

Posted by: Michelle at July 4, 2010 1:33 AM


Hooray for the ACLU. The reactionary Catholic blogs are declaring that the woman at St. Joe's in Phoenix should have been passive and hoped God would merely save her baby, but she should have consented to allowing herself to die in the "hope" that just perhaps God would perform a miracle.

Emergencies in pregnancy, at various stages, happen all in the time, even with the best prenatal care of the 21st century. They go way beyond the situation of ectopic pregnancies. The Church refuses to believe that there ever has to be a prudential decision made between two at-risk lives, yet that refusal merely reveals their vast medical ignorance.

Pregnant women of all faiths take note: avoid all Catholic hospitals if you value your own life and don't want to leave your husband a widower and your other children motherless.

Posted by: call_ee_fornia at July 4, 2010 7:49 PM


Hooray for the ACLU. The reactionary Catholic blogs are declaring that the woman at St. Joe's in Phoenix should have been passive and hoped God would merely save her baby, but she should have consented to allowing herself to die in the "hope" that just perhaps God would perform a miracle.

Emergencies in pregnancy, at various stages, happen all in the time, even with the best prenatal care of the 21st century. They go way beyond the situation of ectopic pregnancies. The Church refuses to believe that there ever has to be a prudential decision made between two at-risk lives, yet that refusal merely reveals their vast medical ignorance.

Pregnant women of all faiths take note: avoid all Catholic hospitals if you value your own life and don't want to leave your husband a widower and your other children motherless.

Posted by: call_ee_fornia at July 4, 2010 7:51 PM


So when a women's life is truly at risk what places more stress on her body an abortion or a C-Section? Anyone have an answer for that.

Posted by: myrtle miller at July 4, 2010 8:17 PM


Catholic Hospitals can NOT be forced to perform not needed (read: NEVER NEEDED) abortions. There are TWO patients in a pregnancy: the MOTHER AND THE BABY. Every doctor should do everything he or she can to save BOTH LIVES.


Posted by: LizFromNebraska at July 4, 2010 8:30 PM



To my knowledge, institutions receiving federal funding are prohibited from initiating discussions about abortion (unless, I suppose, there is a grave emergency). But if a woman REQUESTS abortion information, staff must give the woman neutral information and referrals to outside sources.

I truly do not believe this ACLU mandate is an attempt to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions under ORDINARY circumstances. The ACLU's demands are pretty clear: if the woman's health is directly endangered and the child is viable, labor will be induced. In good faith the doctors will TRY TO SAVE THE PREGNANCY. But before 22-23 weeks and based on physician prudence--not simply a woman "claiming" she needs an abortion--the pregnancy will be aborted.

Conscientious objection on religious grounds just doesn't work in this instance. I'm sure some women turn out fine after experiencing pregnancy crises, but the alternative is that nobody does anything and mom dies along with her unviable fetus. Now inaction has become tantamount to murder.

Posted by: Megan at July 4, 2010 9:11 PM


"The reactionary Catholic blogs are declaring that the woman at St. Joe's in Phoenix should have been passive and hoped God would merely save her baby, but she should have consented to allowing herself to die in the "hope" that just perhaps God would perform a miracle."

Posted by: call_ee_fornia at July 4, 2010 7:51 PM

I have not heard even one Catholic blog or blogger ever claiming anything even remotely like this. This is YOUR mis-characterization of the Catholic position.

Can you really not imagine any possible treatment a doctor can give in these case except a) and abortion and b) doing nothing? That only shows how medically ignorant YOU are.

The Catholic Church allows for aggressive treatments to be given, even those that pose a very grave risk to the child. But killing the child outright is not permitted, no more than directly killing the mother would be.

In the Arizona case, we don't know what would have happened if the doctors had pursued other avenues than abortion in trying to stabilize the pregnant woman with a failing heart. We know that she pulled through after the abortion, but we'll never know if she would have pulled through without it. Doctors today are only too willing to declare abortion the "only option" because it is the most convenient one for them, and exposes them to the least danger of a malpractice suit if something goes wrong.

Also in this case, do you have the slightest idea of what the young mother felt? The hospital, as far as I know, has not said anything about this. Given the severity of the pulmonary hyper-tension indicated, however, I tend to think that she must have had the same condition during her earlier pregnancies for it to have developed to the point it did. Perhaps she became pregnant again because she was genuinely willing to take the risk. But again, we don't know.

Not that this is stopped you from imagining things. . .

Posted by: Lori Pieper at July 5, 2010 12:26 AM



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