ACLU Sues To Obtain Documents Showing Catholic Hospitals ‘Harm’ Women By Refusing To Perform Abortions

A senior staff attorney at the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project says the civil rights organization is filing a lawsuit in the hope of obtaining documents that show Catholic hospitals are “harming” women by taking taxpayer dollars for public services yet upholding their belief in the dignity of every human life.

Brigitte Amiri writes at the ACLU’s blog that “increasingly” pregnant women with complications are finding themselves in the emergency rooms of Catholic hospitals, “crying and upset,” and believing they “need an abortion” because they know “the pregnancy won’t make it to term.”

“But in this particular story, the hospital is Catholic, and the medical staff refused to provide an abortion based on Catholic directives that dictate what care can be provided in Catholic hospitals,” Amiri says, adding she expects the ACLU’s lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act will uncover documents pertaining to complaints against Catholic hospitals’ due to refusals to perform abortions.

“We assume there are other complaints that we don’t know about yet,” Amiri states, expressing concern that the number of Catholic hospitals is growing and, therefore, opportunities for women to have abortions are in decline.

“In 2016, one in six hospital beds in the U.S. are in a facility that complies with Catholic directives, which prohibit a range of reproductive health care, even when a woman’s life or health is in jeopardy,” Amiri says, though the same “Catholic directives” she cites in her blog post state the opposite.

The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Fifth Edition, assert that while “abortion is never permitted”:

  1. 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. (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2009, p. 26)

Amiri says she is counting on “the government…to help fix this problem and use federal law to protect women” from Catholic hospitals.

“The federal government should systematically investigate Catholic hospitals and hold them accountable,” Amiri says. “No woman should rush to the hospital and fear for her life because of religious rules that force hospitals to turn patients away without providing the proper care.”

If Amiri is truly focused on circumstances in which the life of the mother is in jeopardy due to pregnancy complications, her research should have taught her that this situation is extremely rare, and by no means “increasingly” problematic, as she appears to want her readers to believe.

“Separating the mother and the fetus can be a life saving procedure under certain circumstances,” Dr. Donna Harrison, executive director of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, tells Breitbart News. “This separation of the mother and the fetus in order to save the mother’s life is the diametric opposite of elective abortion.”

Harrison adds:

The purpose of an elective abortion is to guarantee a dead baby. The purpose of separating the mother and the fetus in life threatening conditions is to try to save both the mother and her unborn child if possible, but at least save the mother. The ACLU is playing on the ignorance of what abortion actually is: a procedure designed to produce a dead baby.

Harrison cites the Dublin Declaration on Maternal Healthcare, which has now been signed by at least 1,000 medical professionals and states:

As experienced practitioners and researchers in obstetrics and gynaecology, we affirm that direct abortion – the purposeful destruction of the unborn child – is not medically necessary to save the life of a woman.

We uphold that there is a fundamental difference between abortion, and necessary medical treatments that are carried out to save the life of the mother, even if such treatment results in the loss of life of her unborn child.

We confirm that the prohibition of abortion does not affect, in any way, the availability of optimal care to pregnant women.

Additionally, Amiri should know that even Alan Guttmacher, M.D. — known as the “father of Planned Parenthood” — observed in 1967 in The Case for Legalized Abortion Now, “Today it is possible for almost any patient to be brought through pregnancy alive, unless she suffers from a fatal illness such as cancer or leukemia, and, if so, abortion would be unlikely to prolong, much less save, life.”

“It is surprising that the ACLU stoops to such deception in order to force abortion upon physicians, nurses and hospital systems who still value the Hippocratic Oath and still refuse to kill human beings,” Harrison observes.

National director of Priests for Life Father Frank Pavone also issued a statement regarding the ACLU’s lawsuit to obtain all complaints against Catholic hospitals as part of an effort to force them to perform abortions.

“Only in a toxic political climate could an extremist group like the ACLU even suggest that Catholic hospitals should participate in abortion,” Pavone said. “The effort will fail. Catholic health care is here to stay, and trying to disrupt it helps nobody.”

Pavone noted the irony in the ACLU’s effort to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.

“First, they pretend to care that women may be killed, but any evidence of their care about tens of millions of children killed by abortion is nowhere to be found,” he explains. “And second, they complain about alleged outrages in Catholic hospitals, but any evidence of outrage at the killing, maiming, raping, and malpractice taking place as a matter of course in our nation’s abortion clinics is, again, conspicuously absent.”


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