Skip to comments.The ACLU's Unholy War on Catholic Hospitals
Posted on 12/24/2010 5:33:52 AM PST by Kaslin
Ho, ho, ho! Just in time for Christmas, the American Civil Liberties Union has launched a new salvo against people of faith. Even as billions around the world celebrate the birth of Christ, joyless, abortion-obsessed secularists never take a holiday.
On Wednesday, the ACLU sent a letter to federal health officials urging the government to force Catholic hospitals in the U.S. to perform abortions in violation of their core moral commitment to protecting the lives of the unborn. They're counting on sympathetic Obama rationing czar Donald Berwick -- a recess appointee whose radical views on wealth and health redistribution were never vetted by Congress -- to dictate which religious principles hospital operators can and cannot follow.
The ACLU reiterated its call for a federal probe -- read: fishing expedition -- of Catholic hospitals nationwide that refuse to provide "emergency" contraception and abortions to women. In practice, of course, every request for abortion is an "emergency" to the left.
The Catholic Church makes clear that it is morally permissible under certain circumstances to treat directly the cause of the mother's medical condition, even if those efforts unintentionally and indirectly cost the baby's life. But Catholic health providers must never directly trade one life for another.
Civil liberties activists have a particular vendetta against devout Phoenix Catholic Bishop Thomas Olmsted, who recently revoked the Catholic status of a rogue hospital that performed several direct abortions, provided birth control pills and presided over sterilizations against the church's ethical and religious directives for health care. "It would be unfaithful to pretend the institution is still Catholic," Olmsted concluded.
"The dioceses cannot be permitted to dictate who lives and who dies in Catholic-owned hospitals," the ACLU's lawyers fumed in response.
But shall it be left to the ACLU and Obamacare bureaucrats to determine the Catholicity of a Catholic hospital?
And shall it be left to litigious secularists to sabotage the First Amendment rights of religious-based health care entities with impunity?
The ACLU now seeks to unilaterally rewrite a federal emergency medical treatment law passed by Congress in 1986 to mandate that all hospitals provide abortions. But for more than three decades, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, federal law has firmly established strong conscience protections for individual health care providers and hospitals who are reluctant or unwilling to "counsel, suggest, recommend, assist or in any way participate in the performance of abortions or sterilizations contrary to or consistent with" their "religious beliefs or moral convictions."
As the Washington-based Becket Fund, a public interest law firm that defends the free expression of all religious traditions, pointed out to the feds: "The ACLU has no business radically re-defining the meaning of emergency health care,' 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."
According to the Catholic Health Association, Catholic health care facilities form the largest not-for-profit health service sector in the United States -- serving one out of every six patients in America and providing 15 percent of the hospital bed capacity in the country. Moreover, Catholic health care institutions employ about 540,000 full-time workers and 240,000 part-time workers.
If the abortion lobby gets its way, faithful Catholic hospitals and Catholic medical professionals who follow their consciences and adhere to canon law could see their federal funding yanked. And radical social engineers may well force the shutdown of countless Catholic hospitals at a time when Obamacare costs and consequences are already wreaking havoc on the health industry.
Fewer jobs, less access to health care, less freedom and more lives lost: Merry Christmas from the ACLU.
We need to find out how many federal dollars gi to them bit overtly and covertly and take it away. Also at every opportunity, they should be sued and forced to spend money defending their Marxist agenda.
People will never understand now. What would the world be like today if instead of the Crusades we had waged the Dialogues?
But now we must only discuss things in a civilized way, with rabid carnivores.
We mock the deluded fools who embrace wild animals and get devoured by their “pets.” Are we any wiser, really?
We either fight, or coexist ourselves out of existence. And it looks like we’re never going to fight.
You know, I don’t want to force every supermarket to carry my favorite barbecue sauce! When I need it, I go to the store that has it.
Why is this idea of Liberty beyond comprehension for those at the ACLU. If someone wants an abortion, just go to the hospital that offers it, just as Jane Roe could have hopped on a bus from Texas to Chicago to get her abortion instead of suing Texas.
But Liberty is not in the mind of the American Civil LIBERTIES Union. No, coersion is. And any that don’t comply must be destroyed.
The ACLU is going to litigate the Catholic Church out of existence if they can. I believe the Catholic Church has already been forced to suspend their adoption services because they won’t consider gay households for the adoption of children.
The ACLU had better watch it here.
In many crime-ridden, inner cities of this nation, the ONLY hospitals with the balls (we call it faith) to provide health care in these dangerous places....are Catholic hospitals.
I hope the Catholic Church calls their bluff and announces plans to close these hospitals, serving the neediest of the needy. Then, wait for the fallout.
I’d love to see them try their wordsmithing and parsing and general b.s.ery on Judgement Day. Yes, it’s petty but I’m a sucker for cheap entertainment.
I had my lung surgery in a Catholic hospital last spring. For something as serious as that, I am so grateful they were there—they actually advertise prayer as part of the treatment, and the entire place just had a much better atmosphere than other hospitals in the area. I credit them with my successful surgery, complete eradication of cancer, and my subsequent relatively speedy recovery. If the ACLU closes this place, it will be a horrible loss for people in central Oklahoma.
Clearly emboldened by the most proabortion president in the history of the United States, they go to government to try to force their hate on others and complain when the faithful try to protect the most vulnerable.
Most of them don’t care about eternity because they don’t believe. And they ridicule us for believing. Alinsky 101.
I think you’re pretty close to their intent. I think they’d like to legislate the Church out of this country, or perhaps construct a box to keep it confined to, with no option of release unless they “play ball” with the liberal power-whiners that be. I’d guess that this next year will be the telling one, between abortion, DADT, and homosexual unions (i.e. “gay ‘marriage’”). Weasels. No, I retract that; it’s unkind to weasels.
The fallout will be that those hospitals will be taken over by the government as part of ObamaCare. This has been the goal all along.
You are mistaken. The ACLU doesn’t care about people. They care about advancing their agenda. If more poor, inner city people die because of it, so be it. Socialism marches on.
I am not at all convinced that directly targeting and dismembering the living baby was their "only" option. Aggressive circulatory/respiratory support for the mom, possibly for the x-number of weeks necessary for a premature delivery with a better chance of survival for both, is the way I;m told some hospitals would ave handled it.
Or if they decided, for some hellbent reason, that dismembering the baby was "the only thing to do," doing it at a Catholic hospital was not their "only" option. Other FReepers have pointed out that there is at least one well-equipped non-Catholic hospital just minutes away from St. Joseph's.
I am sorry to say that this sounds lke a set-up. St. Joseph's, plus the 40-hospital parent-corporation Catholic Healthcare West, plus the Catholic Health Association (a nationwide trade association of Catholic Health executives) are reacting in unison to express support for thed abortion decision, which suggests collusion.
Anybody having any more information, please keep me on your list. I'm trying to keep up with this. The repercussions of this are going to be very widespread and very grave, with Obama-supporter Sr. Carol Keehan now the CEO of the CHA. I am sick over it.
The ACLU should force Childrens Hospital to take in adults.
What right does Childrens Hospital have to decide that an adult is not worthy of receiving their care.
A hospital should have to serve whoever shows up at their door.
Why does Veterans Hospital only serve Veterans?
Sarcasm but just as germane as the ACLU argument that states abortions should be performed in Catholic Hospitals.
Yes. For days we heard about the ‘terminal’ condition of the mother. Only after the Archdiocese’ decision was made public did we find out what the condition was. Pulmonary hypertension can be treated. And there was another hospital nearby where she could have had an abortion. The Sister should be excommunicated. She doesn’t uphold Catholic tenets. And I’m not a Catholic. I just believe in living your religion.