The first rule when your ‘e in a hole is to stop digging. A lesson that Barry Feldman whole is general counsel for St. Francis Hospital the lead spokesman for the Connecticut Catholic Bishops conference should learn.
Asked how the CCC found itself at odds with the Vatican document, Feldman replied, "What we’re talking about now is emergency contraception which is different from the morning after pill which is referred to in that Vatican document. What the Vatican document was expressing an opinion on and an objection to was medication or a pill, the morning after pill, that has the direct intended effect of causing an abortion."
Feldman added, "Emergency contraception is different, its not an abortion pill, its intended to prevent pregnancy and not constitute an abortion. So what we’re talking about now really is just a totally different subject and a totally different medication than what was addressed in the Vatican document. The Vatican has not issued any kind of teaching with respect to emergency contraception."
I had to read the above several times and it still doesn’t make sense.
…LifeSiteNews.com spoke with Dr. John Shea, a medical doctor who has researched and written extensively on bioethical issues. Dr. Shea, a member of the Canadian Bioethics Institute confirmed that Plan B, the drug which the CCC has agreed to allow into Catholic hospitals is indeed a morning after pill, and was specifically addressed in the Vatican document where it spoke of a pill containing "only progestogens".
Richard Doerflinger, Deputy Director for the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities, although he would not specifically address the CCC situation, did confirm that the Pontifical Academy’s 2000 document did address Plan B.
I found the otherwise reliable Bishop Lori’s blog post on the subject to be rather unsatisfying.
Unfortunately, Connecticut Legislature decided last spring to settle the question of whether both tests are necessary, instead of letting the Church do so in her own way. The Governor signed into law a measure that forbids health care professionals from using the results of an ovulation test in treating a rape victim. We bishops, as well as health care professionals, continue to believe this law is seriously flawed and should be changed. You should also know that we carefully explored with very competent experts the possibility of challenging the law. Unfortunately, such a challenge would most likely not succeed. Failure of the hospitals to comply would put them and their staffs at risk.
I still don’t understand how a "seriously flawed" law that you can ethically comply with really needs to be changed? Why would you want it to be changed unless you believe that only a standard pregnancy test, as the law allows, is not enough. Plus the whole idea of the government limiting what tests a hospital can perform should be causing alarm far outside the circle of the Catholic Church.
I also find the following statement to be rather weaselly.
Indeed, the Church does not teach that it is intrinsically evil to administer Plan B without first giving an ovulation test or that those who do so are committing an abortion.
The Church doesn’t specify every method that can be used to kill an unborn child as intrinsically evil, it calls murdering a human person intrinsically evil. He also downplayed the medical science about an abortafacient aspect by saying only "some believe" (when it is the mainstream assumption) and saying their is uncertainty about this, but somehow this uncertainty can also be categorized as "rare."
I think what I found most disappointing about the Bishop’s letters is that it seemed all about the prudence of challenging and resisting the law and zero emphasis on possibly allowing Catholic hospitals to kill human beings in the name of prudence.
“Reluctant compliance” emerged as the only viable option.
Diogenes saw the use of viable to be highly ironic and I agree.
Its it no wonder that Tertillian never said "The blood of the Bishops was the seed of the church." OK – that is rather snarky and of course there have been Bishop martyrs but you only need to think back to the fact that St. John Fisher was the only Bishop to stand up to the King in the face of government intrusion into the Church.
St. John Fisher pray for us.
Hat tip to Constitutionally Correct for the story.