Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Becket Fund stands up (to ACLU) for Catholic hospitals

As was observed the other day by David Gibson at the Commonweal blog, Catholic hospitals do a "better job".  They are important for society.  And, as Jody Bottum explained a few months ago, authentically Catholic hospitals are important not only to America, but also to the mission of the Church.  So, it's too bad that the ACLU is pressuring the government to, in turn, push Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.  (Read this letter regarding the "denial of reproductive health care" at Catholic hospitals.)

The merry band of religious-freedom defenders at the Becket Fund have, in turn,threatened to sue HHS if it gives in to the ACLU's pressure.  According to the Becket Fund:

“The ACLU has no business radically re-defining the meaning of ‘emergency health care,’” writes Becket Fund President Kevin “Seamus” Hasson.  "Just as it has no business demanding that religious doctors and nurses violate their faith by performing a procedure they believe is tantamount to murder. Forcing religious hospitals to perform abortions not only undermines this nation’s integral commitment to conscience rights, it violates the numerous federal laws that recognize and protect those rights.”

Forcing Catholic or any religiously-affiliated hospital to perform abortions will only result in nationwide closures, thereby reducing access to healthcare for everyone, a blow the healthcare system could not weather. Legally forcing doctors and nurses to perform abortions in violation of their consciences would constitute a large step backwards for religious freedom and would turn this nation’s foundational commitment to conscience rights on its head.


Garnett, Rick | Permalink

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