Continued from page 1

“When I met with officials of the hospital to learn more of the details of what had occurred, it became clear that, in the decision to abort, the equal dignity of mother and her baby were not both upheld; but that the baby was directly killed, which is a clear violation of [Ethical and Religious Directive] No. 45. It also was clear that the exceptional cases, mentioned in ERD No. 47, were not met, that is, that there was not a cancerous uterus or other grave malady that might justify an indirect and unintended termination of the life of the baby to treat the grave illness. In this case, the baby was healthy and there were no problems with the pregnancy; rather, the mother had a disease that needed to be treated. But instead of treating the disease, St. Joseph’s medical staff and ethics committee decided that the healthy, 11-week-old baby should be directly killed. This is contrary to the teaching of the Church.”

ERD No. 47 says: “Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.”

In other words, procedures aimed at saving the mother but which may kill the baby are different from aborting the baby. “The key is that the prohibition on direct killing avoids imputing a disease process to the child and obliges medical personnel to protect both patients and avoid an objectionable dilemma,” explains Chuck Donovan, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation.

In its Dec. 23 editorial “A Matter of Life or Death,” the New York Times kept the cartoon going and insisted, “No one has suggested that Catholic hospitals should be required to perform non-emergency abortions.” (That would be news to feminists who want the church’s tax exemption revoked.)

The Timescontinued: “But, as St. Joseph’s recognized, the need to accommodate religious doctrine does not give health providers serving the general public license to jeopardize women’s lives.”

The Times, the ACLU and the rest of the left aggressively defend abortion mills, whose business is killing. The left also makes sure abortionists are not bound by routine medical standards that might help protect mothers from infections or botched abortions.

Remember this as the media campaign intensifies to bring down the heavy hand of government on the Catholic Church.

Robert Knight is senior writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.