The bishop of Phoenix is getting some more glare of publicity, this time from Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times. I hope more people will start to grasp just what it is that he and his Conference of catholic bishops are saying. They are saying that hospitals – all hospitals if they had their way, not just Catholic ones – should flatly refuse to save pregnant women’s lives by ending early pregnancies. They are saying that if ending an early pregnancy is the only way a particular woman’s life can be saved, then that woman must die. (They make an exception for something they call “indirect abortion,” which is enormously generous of them.)
Now the bishop, in effect, is excommunicating the entire hospital — all because it saved a woman’s life.
Precisely. That’s the bit that needs to be emphasized, and repeated. Some people think the bishop simply doesn’t realize what he’s saying. Oh yes he does.
The hospital backed up Sister Margaret, and it rejected the bishop’s demand that it never again terminate a pregnancy to save the life of a mother.
But the bishop remains a free man. He has not been arrested. There is no talk of arresting him (except for around here). He is using all the “authority” and influence he has in an effort to compel hospitals to let women die, yet no one tries to stop him. People defy him, but that’s as far as they go.