A Pattern of Missteps

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					From the Editors

A Pattern of Missteps
C
         ompromise is not a dirty word in                          garet McBride, RSM, had excommunicated herself by ap-
                                                                   proving a request to remove a fetus from its mother’s womb in
         democratic politics, nor is the bal-                      order to save her life. McBride served on the ethics commit-
         ancing of conflicting goods foreign                       tee at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.
                                                                   Late in 2009 a woman was brought to the hospital suffering
to the church’s tradition of casuistic moral                       from acute pulmonary hypertension, a life-threatening con-
reasoning. So why do so many American                              dition for any pregnant woman. If the pregnancy, then in
                                                                   its eleventh week, continued, both mother and child would
bishops appear to spurn both in their prolife                      probably die.
advocacy? Do they really think the hard-                              Abortion is not permissible under any circumstances, says
est line is always the best one, or the most                       Bishop Olmsted, not even to save the life of the mother. But
                                                                   others, including some very conservative Catholic moralists,
persuasive?                                                        think that, in cases where a pregnancy will almost certainly kill
   Instead of addressing the legitimate concerns of those who      both the woman and her unborn child, separating the child
oppose the church’s teaching on abortion—such as concerns          from the mother is morally justified. The arguments here are
for the health of women—American bishops too often seem to         complicated. Suffice it to say that the intention of those who
fear that any acknowledgment of the complexity of this issue       remove the embryo or fetus from its mother’s womb is not to
would weaken their own position. And instead of speaking           kill a developing child but to save the mother in a situation
from the real strength of their position, and assessing their      where the child has no chance of survival and the woman
political situation rationally, too many bishops are in a hurry    has no other chance. It is not clear to many Catholics why in
to warn of impending betrayals and persecutions, suggesting        cases of ectopic pregnancy the church will allow the removal
that their prochoice political opponents have more power           of a fallopian tube—and with it an embryo—in order to save
and fewer scruples than they actually do.                          a pregnant woman’s life, while it will not allow the removal
   Thus, American bishops spent a fortune on a campaign to         of a nonviabl
				
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Description: Instead of addressing the legitimate concerns of those who oppose the church's teaching on abortion - such as concerns for the health of women - American bishops too often seem to fear that any acknowledgment of the complexity of this issue would weaken their own position. [...] instead of speaking from the real strength of their position, and assessing their political situation rationally, too many bishops are in a hurry to warn of impending betrayals and persecutions, suggesting that their prochoice political opponents have more power and fewer scruples than they actually do. [...] American bishops spent a fortune on a campaign to defeat the illusory threat posed by the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), which has no chance of becoming law.
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