ACLU Pressures Catholic Hospitals To Do Abortions
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has sent a letter to the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services claiming that Catholic hospitals nationwide are refusing to do supposedly life-saving abortions, saying “emergency reproductive health care” includes abortions.
Catholic norms allow physicians to treat a life-threatening condition even if it indirectly causes an abortion, but does not permit direct abortion.
The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty said in a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services that ACLU is misinterpreting the Emergency Medical Treatment Act, a law which initially was designed to protect the conscience rights of health care workers, and that ACLU’s claim overturns 25 years of case law. “The ACLU has no business radically re-defining the meaning of ‘emergency health care,’” the legal group asserted.
The Beckett Fund letter stated they would sue if HHS tried to force religiously-affiliated hospitals to do abortions against the conscientious objections of their doctors and nurses. The letter stressed that ever since the Roe v Wade. decision legalized unlimited abortions, the conscience of medical professionals has been protected.
“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,” the Beckett Fund letter stated.
The Beckett Fund also pointed out that “forcing Catholic or other religiously-affiliated hospitals to perform abortions will only result in nationwide closures, thereby reducing access to health care for everyone.” Moreover, this “would constitute a large step backwards for religious freedom and would turn this nation’s foundational commitment to conscience rights on its head,” the group added.
Beckett Fund President Kevin Hasson offered to represent pro-bono any religious hospital threatened because of their conscientious objection to abortion.Tom Brejcha, president of the Thomas More Society, called on Catholics to provide “an enlightened, invigorated and sustained response” to the ACLU challenge.
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