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27 05 2010

A woman’s life is threatened by her pregnancy. An ethics committee at a Catholic hospital, as part of consultative group including the woman, her family, and her doctors, approves a therapeutic abortion.

The result?  Sister Margaret McBride, who sat on the Ethics Committee, is excommunicated.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix initially stated

“We always must remember that when a difficult medical situation involves a pregnant woman, there are two patients in need of treatment and care; not merely one. The unborn child’s life is just as sacred as the mother’s life, and neither life can be preferred over the other. A woman is rightly called ‘mother’ upon the moment of conception and throughout her entire pregnancy is considered to be ‘with child.’

“The direct killing of an unborn child is always immoral, no matter the circumstances, and it cannot be permitted in any institution that claims to be authentically Catholic. . . .” [emphasis added]

The diocese then chose to follow up that statement with this press release, in which they elaborated:

First, a physician cannot be 100% certain that a mother would die if she continued the pregnancy.

Second, the mother’s life cannot be preferred over the child. Both lives are equal, both have an eternal soul and both are created by God. No one has the right to directly kill an innocent life, no matter what stage of their existence.

It is not better to save one life while murdering another. It is not better for the mother to live the rest of her existence having had her child killed. [emphasis added]

The Bishop is apparently considering also excommunicating St Joseph’s for its participation in this ‘evil action.’

(H/t Nicholas Kristof;; and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix)