Monday, December 09, 2013

Atheists Sue Bishops for Pro-life Beliefs/Practice

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is accusing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops of negligence in a federal lawsuit because a Michigan Catholic hospital would not perform an abortion in the case of early labor, but rather allowed a natural miscarriage of a pregnancy.

For background, read ACLU Tells Feds: We'll Force Abortion on Catholic Hospitals and also read Colorado Law Counters Catholic Hospitals: Abortion Drug as well as Bishops Say Catholic Church Will Defy ObamaCare

-- From "ACLU files suit against Catholics for no-abortion hospital policy" by Cheryl K. Chumley, The Washington Times 12/3/13

Basically, the ACLU said the group’s anti-abortion guidelines were to blame for the woman’s negligent care, and that the woman never should have been put in the position of seeing her child die during early labor, Newsmax reported. The woman was treated at the Catholic-affiliated Mercy Health Muskegon in Michigan.

The ACLU faulted the bishops for not telling the woman, Tamesha Means, early in her pregnancy that her decision to continue to full term posed health risks for her and for her child.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Michigan said Ms. Means was 18 weeks pregnant in 2010. Her water broke and she went to Muskegon, the closest hospital, for treatment. Over the course of several emergency room visits, no medical profession ever advised her “the safest treatment option was to induce labor and terminate the pregnancy,” based on her condition. Why? The ACLU alleges the hospital purposely avoided this advice, because of ethical directives from the bishops group.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Catholic Hospital Refuses To Treat Miscarrying Woman; ACLU Sues Catholic Bishops Over Reproductive Rights" by John Ericson, Medical Daily 12/4/13

With USCCB et al. v. ACLU, the abortion debate is widened to include a more diverse array of cases, as Means’ predicament shows that directives set forth by religious authorities are sometimes indiscriminately generalized across all pregnancies — be they wanted or not. Writing for Slate, Amanda Marcotte submits that by refusing to acknowledge the state of the fetus and denying Means the care she obviously needed, the hospital essentially prioritized a faceless religious principle over the actual life of a mother of three children. Such decisions, she argues, call into question the anti-abortion movement’s purported goal of protecting all life.

The current case dovetails with the recent legal challenges to Texas Senate Bill 5 — a set of restrictive abortion provisions whereby a clinic offering pregnancy terminations must have inpatient admitting privileges at a fully equipped health center within 30 miles.

To read the entire opinion column above, CLICK HERE.

From "USCCB President Archbishop Kurtz responds to ACLU’s Lawsuit" posted at United States Conference of Catholic Bishops 12/6/13

. . . [The ACLU] claims that our document titled “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services” (ERDs) encourages or requires substandard treatment of pregnant women because it does not approve the direct killing of their unborn children.

This claim is baseless. The ERDs urge respectful and compassionate care for both mothers and their children, both during and after pregnancy. Regarding abortion, the ERDs restate the universal and consistent teaching of the Catholic Church on defending the life of the unborn child—a defense that, as Pope Francis recently reminded us, “is closely linked to the defense of each and every other human right” (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 213). This same commitment to the life of each human individual has motivated Catholics to establish the nation’s largest network of nonprofit health care ministries. These ministries provide high-quality care to women and children, including those who lack health coverage and financial resources. The Church’s rejection of abortion also mirrors the Hippocratic Oath that gave rise to the very idea of medicine as a profession, a calling with its own life-affirming moral code.

The Church holds that all human life, both before and after birth, has inherent dignity, and that health care providers have the corresponding duty to respect the dignity of all their patients. This lawsuit argues that it is legally “negligent” for the Catholic bishops to proclaim this core teaching of our faith. Thus, the suit urges the government to punish that proclamation with civil liability, a clear violation of the First Amendment.

To read the entire statement above, CLICK HERE.

Also read President Obama Redefines 1st Amendment Freedom of Religion even though Obama Denies Leading War Against Christianity