Thursday, 24 January 2013

Catholic Church: Facts matter when money is involved.

This was in the news yesterday.  As you can imagine, it has been the topic of pro-choice discussions since, as we've written many, many times at DJ!, the US Catholic Church has been one of the best-financed and insistent organization to lobby politicians, in its opposition to abortion and birth control.  All of it involves indirect actions and proxy groups of course, as the Vatican Taliban doesn't want to imperil the tax-exempt status its churches enjoy.
The Catholic Church is on record stating that life begins at conception That is the basis of their opposition to abortion in all circumstances. It’s the basis on which they argue that Obamacare violates their (and their followers) religious freedoms (which of course trump any rights or freedoms anyone else may have.)

[...]Sometimes, actions tells us just how deep a religious conviction in the sanctity of life really is. It turns out that at least for one Catholic healthcare provider, that deeply held religious belief suddenly becomes less important when a few dollars are at stake.

This story began on New Years Day in 2006. Lori Stodghill was 31-years-old and seven months pregnant with twins. She went to St. Thomas More Hospital, suffering from nausea and shortness of breath. Her obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, was on call that night – but never answered his pager. Stodghill’s main artery to the lungs was clogged, resulting in a heart attack. She died within an hour of arriving at the hospital, as did the twins – some time later. Stodghill’s husband, Jeremy filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of the couples then 2-year-old daughter, Elizabeth and himself. Their lawyers argued that Stodges should have made it to the hospital or at least ordered the emergency room to perform an emergency c-section.
From here.

[...]when it came to mounting a defense in the Stodghill case, Catholic Health’s lawyers effectively turned the Church directives on their head. Catholic organizations have for decades fought to change federal and state laws that fail to protect “unborn persons,” and Catholic Health’s lawyers in this case had the chance to set precedent bolstering anti-abortion legal arguments. Instead, they are arguing state law protects doctors from liability concerning unborn fetuses on grounds that those fetuses are not persons with legal rights.

As Jason Langley, an attorney with Denver-based Kennedy Childs, argued in one of the briefs he filed for the defense, the court “should not overturn the long-standing rule in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive. Colorado state courts define ‘person’ under the Act to include only those born alive. Therefore Plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.”
Above from here; text below from previously quoted.
The thing that smells in this case is the hypocrisy. On one hand, the “sanctity of life” matters when it comes to denying a woman access to reproductive health. The women’s life is secondary to that of a zygot or a fetus in the name of religious freedom. A woman’s dignity is secondary to that same religious freedom. But, when a few dollars are at stake, suddenly these deeply held religious beliefs don’t matter.

One might think that the gospel, and all those deeply held religious values really are only wallet deep.

SHRIEEEEEEEEEK!!! It's what you'd expect from the likes of SUZYALLCAPS at Blob Blogging Wingnut, right?

Curiously, no. All is silent over there, except for a short riff on a piece of glurge about the bishop of Denver SHE posted on January 22nd, the day before the damning news story above was published.  Coincidence?

We provide no click-links to BBW because if we do, SHE will re-direct all traffic to pictures of human anatomical detritus, aka fetal p0rn.

In case you think that we exaggerate when we say so-called "prolife" is pro-lies, note that in HER blogpost, SUZY states that the bishop of Denver studied medicine.  

Wrong, incorrect, false.

The man himself says that he worked as an orderly in a hospital.

Prevaricate much, SUZY?

Today's BBW blogpost demonstrates how SHE deigns to hold up a woman's exemplary choice to carry a pregnancy to term because that particular choice fits HER object lesson of the day.  Although this woman is a lesbian, SHE conveniently decides not to address that ideological inconsistency - HER Catholic homophobia has been on display in many previous posts - because shut up.

ADDED by fh on January 25: From Daily Kos
Now, lest you think that an attorney representing a Catholic organization that manages a Catholic hospital does not actually speak for the Church, and therefore, the arguments in legal documents do not represent the Church itself, au contraire, smarty pants. Let's go below the fold to review the Taco Bell rule, shall we?

The Taco Bell rule was first offered by Anthony Picarello, general counsel for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, when the bishops were hissy-fitting themselves over insurance coverage of birth control. Under this rule, there is no distinction between the Catholic Church, Catholic-affiliated organizations, or privately owned companies that appear to have no religious affiliation, but that are owned or managed by someone who claims to be Catholic. Like, say, someone who opens a Taco Bell franchise. Under this rule, it's all the Catholic Church, according to the Catholic Church, and should all be afforded the exact same legal protections as the Church itself.
A trio of bishops are going to 'review' the argument.
But what's that saying about closing a barn door after the horse has left? The defendants already made the argument—and won. So what's the plan? The bishops are going to decide the legal argument is invalid and the widower is owed a payout for the wrongful death of his wife and twins? If there's one thing we know for certain it's that the Catholic Church will go to very extreme lengths to avoid legal or financial accountability, including, but not limited to, obstructing criminal investigations.

So regardless of what the bishops determine with their review, they lost this fight. It's over. A fetus is not a person and should have no rights or protections under the law, and that's how it should stay. Amen.
As they say: awkward.


Sixth Estate said...

I study medicine too. On Wikipedia.

Do you think I can use that to prop up my own marginal authority on these matters?

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

As Jesus said, "Money talks, bullshit walks."

Anonymous said...

Awww, no one can split hairs quite as well as the Catholic Church. My hats off to them for that.

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