Catholic Hospital Claims Fetus is not a Person!

The Huffington Post asked me to join them in a discussion about the now famous lawsuit against St. Thomas More Hospital in Colorado, a situation which has spawned a breed of headlines gleefully shouting “Catholic Hospital Claims Fetus Is Not a Person”! On the off-chance you’re as shaky on the details as I was, have a description from the Huffsters:

Lori Stodghill was 31-one years old, seven-months pregnant with twin boys and feeling sick when she arrived at St. Thomas More hospital in Cañon City on New Year’s Day 2006. She was vomiting and short of breath and she passed out as she was being wheeled into an examination room. Medical staff tried to resuscitate her but, as became clear only later, a main artery feeding her lungs was clogged and the clog led to a massive heart attack. Stodghill’s obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, who also happened to be the obstetrician on call for emergencies that night, never answered a page. His patient died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived and her twins died in her womb.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, Stodghill’s husband Jeremy, a prison guard, filed a wrongful-death lawsuit on behalf of himself and the couple’s then-two-year-old daughter Elizabeth. Staples should have made it to the hospital, his lawyers argued, or at least instructed the frantic emergency room staff to perform a caesarian-section. The procedure likely would not have saved the mother, a testifying expert said, but it may have saved the twins.

In that brief, evanescent moment before we ignore human tragedy and begin to work the opinion-piece machine, let us pray for the perpetual rest of the souls now departed, and the comfort of those who await reunion with them in Eternity.

Now the hospital, in response to the lawsuit, argued that “Colorado state courts define ‘person’ under the [Wrongful Death] Act to include only those born alive. Therefore Plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.”

This appeal to law was restructured by the headlines to accuse Catholics of hypocrisy. It was an easy slight of hand: The Catholic Church holds the philosophical and scientific certainty that the fetus is a human person, and look, here are Catholics arguing that the fetus is not.

Reality makes bad headlines. “Catholic Hospital Argues that the State of Colorado Claims that the Fetus is not a Person” just doesn’t have the same ring.

But it’s true. Suing in a civil court of law is an appeal to civil law, and the law of Colorado is clear: Unborn children have no right to life. It is the duty of a lawyer to interpret and apply the law, and they did precisely that.

What the cries of “hypocrisy” implicitly suggest is that St. Thomas More Catholic Hospital should ignore the law of Colorado and instead impose their deeply-held beliefs, that the fetus is, in fact, a person. In this view, Catholics are to rise above the law and practice a self-effacing form of civil disobedience. Quite a turnaround from the rhetoric surrounding the HHS mandate, which would grind the Catholic face in the dirt, demanding we violate our consciences before daring to ignore the law.

It seems the only guiding principle of our culture’s view on the relationship between the Catholic and the law of his country is that the law should always work against the Catholic.

Now to the important question. Did the hospital violate Church teaching?

The Catholic Hospital did not go against Church teaching by deliberately taking unborn life. They did not go against Church teaching by claiming that the Catholic Church teaches that the fetus is anything less than a human person, for an appeal to civil law does not indicate a personal or ecclesiastical agreement with the law.

Having said this, they did appeal to an unjust law. If they did this as a method of avoiding the justice due to the bereaved for pure financial gain, then yes, they are guilty, not of hypocrisy, but of refusing to practice an excellent form of Catholic civil disobedience (and of plain, stupid, sin). I agree with what the haters accidentally advocate: The Catholic should rise above civil law and administer justice where it is absent, giving to God what belongs to God and Caesar the middle finger.

But I am unsure on the issue. For all this being said, it is certainly the duty of a lawyer to use the law to avoid unnecessary damages to his or her client by way of the law, which means that the morality of their appeal to an unjust law — which again, does not imply assent to the truth of said law — could depend on whether or not the plaintiff’s case is a just one, a fact unknown to us now.

In short, since I do not know the motives of those involved in the legal defense of the Catholic Hospital, nor the validity of the plaintiff’s case, I cannot judge the morality of the lawyers’ performing their duty and appealing to the state law, nor of their client, and must wait, as the Bishops are waiting, for further investigation.

But whether they intend to or not, St. Thomas More Hospital is making one of the strongest pro-life arguments in the arsenal. By appealing to a dehumanizing state law they point out the utter absurdity of our laws regarding unborn life in this country, which hold that it is simultaneously legal and illegal to kill an unborn child.

The drunk driver who kills a pregnant woman is charged with two counts of homicide. The abortionist is charged with none. Thus the inalienable right to life is made alien, granted to a human not by virtue of his being human, but by virtue of parental consent. Human life is a blank box to be checked or unchecked on the whim of its mother. It does not exist apart from her desire for it.

This is, of course, ridiculous. It is not the desire for a child’s continued existence that gives him the DNA of a homo sapien, the characteristics of life and the potency of a fully-developed person. These are facts.

(And it’s not the pro-life movement pointing out this absurdity. Pro-choice groups like National Advocates for Pregnant Women argue against this schizophrenic treatment of pregnancy from the opposite angle, advocating the ban of all fetal homicide laws, all laws that would prosecute pregnant drug-users or alcoholics for endagering their child.)

So have my underlying difficulty with the way this case has been presented. Call it a critique of the bad poetry behind the news articles, a cry of “BS!” to the indignation expressed across the web. We’ve made it our mantra and our law that life in the womb is not worthy of human respect, and now we dare to express indignation over the fact that a father is potentially denied justice over the death of his unborn children, children we’ve only for a moment stopped calling zygotes, cellular blobs and fetal tissue. The contradictory laws this case reveals are merely the reflection of contradictory hearts. Either the fetus is a joke, the actions of the hospital sensible and the grieving of the father a bit ridiculous (for who cries over the loss of a parasite?), or the fetus is a person, and the Catholics should be held to the fire. We can’t have it both ways.

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  • Dan Li

    I’ll be honest… the moment I heard the news my first reaction was: HERESY!

    On re-reading the stories: *Hypocritical* HERESY!!!

    …Thanks for the informed viewpoint.

  • Holgrave

    The hopeful possibility of this otherwise quite loathsome case is that the courts will rule against the Catholic hospital that a fetus is entitled to personhood rights under the law.

    • Amber

      Absolutely agree.

    • Denise

      Well stated, Holgrave. Do you think if the court does rule this way it could have an affect on future court cases? If the Supreme Court ever ruled the “fetus” is a person and has rights then the fetus would be protected under the 14th ammendment.

      • Holgrave

        I doubt the hospital would challenge the ruling, but if they did, I suppose it might go to SCOTUS. I’m not a legal expert.

    • Marty Sullivan

      That doesn’t follow at all. There’s plenty of legal precedent here, actually. The courts have ruled a number of times that legalized abortion does not in any way conflict with laws against fetal homicide.

      • Rivka

        this is true. There is a weird inconsistency in the mindset behind such rulings. But you’re right; those are the rulings that have been given.

  • Caroline

    your article seems to be more of a critique on Colorado’s legal system and society’s reaction to the case, rather than on the behavior of the parties involved.

    • Nathan Bird

      I think he is handling this more as a sign of the times than as a free standing event.

  • Rosalinda Lozano

    I totally get what you’re saying in this peice, but the problem I see with it is that this case is not new, it started 5 yrs ago. The Bishops were well aware of the issue. CHI is a Catholic based organization and the hospital is a Catholic hospital. In addition, we are also troubled with the fact that another Colorado Hospital in Durango is housing an abortionist who is part of this Catholic hospital’s ethics board and runs a column in the local newspaper advocating for population control and outright maligns the church weekly – his abortion clinic is also near the Catholic Hospital.
    ALL of this is scandal on every level and has been happening in Colorado for many, many years. This issue is huge. Our only consolation is that this issue has brought to the forefront the Personhood of the unborn and it may be the moment Our Lord has prepared us for to end abortion in our country – In His Holy Name, I pray!

  • Obliged_Cornball

    “Having said this, they did appeal to an unjust law. If they did this as a method of avoiding the justice due to the bereaved for pure financial gain, than yes, they are guilty, not of hypocrisy, but of refusing to practice an excellent form of Catholic civil disobedience (and of plain, stupid, sin).”
    —You know, I was hardly expecting you to admit this much when I opened this article. I should probably give you the benefit of the doubt at this point – you’ve always shown intellectual honesty. This has been MY objection to the handling of this case, and it makes me happy that you’ll at least entertain it.

    “Human life is a blank box to be checked or unchecked on the whim of its mother. It does not exist apart from her desire for it.”
    —This has always bothered me. It’s part of the reason I’m convinced abortion is immoral. I actually respect the groups that argue against legal protection for fetuses in *all* cases, because at least they’re logically-consistent in their views.

    “Either the fetus is a joke, the actions of the hospital sensible and the grieving of the father a bit ridiculous (for who cries over the loss of a parasite?), or the fetus is a person, and the Catholics should be held to the fire. We can’t have it both ways.”
    —Coming from a non-Catholic who is against abortion, I’d actually prefer the latter. Not to demean Catholics and give antitheism ammo, but because I believe it is the more accurate assessment of reality.

  • Emily

    You’re not rising above the law; you’re hiding behind it. Paying out for a wrongful-death suit wouldn’t have broken a single law. In fact, some might say doing so voluntarily, because you truly believe that two viable lives were lost, might be the CHRISTIAN thing to do. And, hey, a good way to protest the law you feel is “unjust” in the first place.

    “But the State of Colorado says we don’t have to!”

    • Alexandra

      It’s only if the “right thing to do” if the suit is a just one. And you can’t know that for sure. What if the claims are bogus? Should Catholic hospitals give money to everyone who has a loved one die just out of charity? They’d cease to exist.

      • Oregon Catholic

        From what I have read, the original lawsuit was argued on the basis of the medical issues, as it should have been. The plaintiff lost and appealed because he felt the judge ruled incorrectly over the testimony of a medical expert. It was only after the appeal that the hospital took up the defense position that a fetus isn’t a person under the law and therefore there was no right to bring suit.

        The hospital isn’t trying to win the case on the merits of it’s medical care. It’s gone after a technicality in the law to win. How can we know if the hospital should rightly settle with the plaintiff or not when they won’t allow the case to be heard on that basis? In fact, it’s highly suspicious to me that they apparently refuse to do so.

        • Alexandra

          Hearing that, which I didn’t know, I have to say even more that I don’t share the suspicion if it’s already been argued on the merits to their success. It is possible that they’ve added this argument not to “win on a technicality” but to put it out there as a test of the law. If there only desire was to wiggle out of it, why not just argue that in the first place so that the case never would have been heard at all? They certainly couldn’t have known before the trial began whether or not the judge would allow that expert testimony.

          If there only desire to wiggle out, then no, I don’t defend their actions in the least, but maybe this will force the rest of society to look at the craziness of the state of the law.

          • Oregon Catholic

            From what I read, the decision of the judge on the medical testimony seemed pretty bad and the plaintiff really should get another chance to make a case for negligence. That’s what he was trying to do.

          • Alexandra

            That may be, that the judge was wrong to make that decision, my point is merely, if the sole goal of the hospital was just to get out of this case from the get-go to save the financial liability, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t have just made this argument initially, before the first case went to trial, then the judge’s ruling on the medical testimony never would have come up at all as they couldn’t have known that that evidence wouldn’t have been admitted in the first case.

          • Oregon Catholic

            I don’t know why they changed their strategy. Maybe the lawyers changed for the appeal. Or maybe someone in the insurance co legal dept reviewed it and decided to change strategy. I think the hospital ownership changed somewhere in all of the litigation too (not sure on the timing) and that may be why.

          • Alexandra

            All this just makes me agree with Marc’s post more. We just don’t know enough of the facts of the case and the motivations of the various players to judge whether or not the actions of the hospital/their lawyers (who may or may not be defending the insurance co. as much as the hospital) are doing something prudent or sinful.

          • Dawn Witzke

            They didn’t change their strategy. They argued that the twins were not covered under the malpractice law from the beginning.

  • Laurie Schultz Bucciante

    The hospital is trying to get out of a law suit or pay less…if they had a conscience they would settle. If I were the bishop I would condemn the hospitall.

    • Joe Cool

      This assumes that they were negligent and are responsible for the mother’s death. If this is not the case, or even if they don’t think they were, then it is perfectly conscionable to defend oneself in court using the law of the land.

      The reason for the existence of courts of law is to determine these matters objectively. It is moral to defend oneself in court if one believes he hasn’t done anything wrong, even if the objective arbiter finds that one has.

      • Joe Cool

        *Mother’s and babies’ deaths.

  • Big Cat

    Very nice write up.

    There is also the possibility (though, unlikely) that the lawyer(s) representing the hospital filed the brief without having the hospital review the brief and weigh in on whether the argument that fetuses were not persons should have have been made. As a lawyer in private practice, I generally have my clients review briefs before I file them. But there are occasions when, for a variety of reasons, I will file a brief without the client’s review.

    • Chelsea

      I am interested to hear more about this whole situation from a lawyer’s point of view. In malpractice cases, is the client typically the insurance company or the hospital? I’ve read some contradicting summaries of the malpractice insurance setup. In the case that the insurance company is the client, would the lawyers ultimately have to satisfy that company or the hospital? It’s all very complicated to me…

  • Jeff H

    First, there is a more practical answer: The hospital’s insurance carrier conducts the defense because of its responsibility for any judgment or settlement. So, there might well be no theological vetting of the legal pleadings.

    Second, our tort system is not Christian. if Catholic hospitals must defend lawsuits solely within the structure of Catholic social teaching, there soon will be no Catholic hospitals. If you come to the Church seeking mercy, charity, or justice within the Church’s teachings, then you should have it. If you choose the civil tort system . . . then you should have that.

    • Oregon Catholic

      But the Church can’t have it both ways – the legal and the moral – and pick and choose which one to promote follow. How can the Church object to the contraception requirement of Obamacare on the basis of religious freedom and morality and then turn it’s back on the same when it suits the bottom line?

      There is nothing that prevents the hospital from releasing the insurance company of responsibility and paying a settlement out of it’s own funds. They cannot hide behind the insurance co to defend behavior that is counter to Catholic morality.

  • William Brandon

    The attorney is doing what he gets paid to do — defend the hospital against a suit filed under Colorado law, which clearly does not permit a cause of action for the wrongful death of someone not yet born. This is a legal matter, not a theological one, and it has nothing to do with what the hospital or the diocese may yet do. Neither the hospital nor the diocese is going to offer anything until the lawsuit is either dismissed or tried. In my opinion, it isn’t even clear that, as a matter of justice (in the Catholic sense, not the legal sense), the hospital or the diocese must offer any sort of monetary compensation. Sad but true — people die. Babies die. And sometimes there’s not a thing any doctor or hospital can do to prevent it happening. All we can do is offer our condolences and whatever compassionate consolation we can. All that said, the Colorado law, like all laws, must be amended to recognize that humans are persons from conception to death.

    • Oregon Catholic

      “In my opinion, it isn’t even clear that, as a matter of justice (in the
      Catholic sense, not the legal sense), the hospital or the diocese must
      offer any sort of monetary compensation.”

      Unfortunately, the hospital is refusing to allow the appropriateness of the medical care to be litigated so how do you propose justice will be determined?. You are willing to sit back and wait for the hospital to do the moral thing. I think they should be doing the moral thing right now.

  • Troy Freedman

    I’m a healthcare provider and a Colorado Catholic so I’ve read a few malicious accounts of this already . . . not the least bit surprising since it seems it is open season on Catholics these days.

    From a medical perspective, it sounds to me like this chick was a dead man walking. Here’s why: when someone walks into an ED with a heart attack, the treatment goal is “door to surgery (balloon inflation in a cath lab)” in 90 minutes. That’s with a team on call and ready to roll the second the pager rings–for an dramatically less complicated surgery requiring a streamlined staff by comparison. A crash c-section has to be started within like five minutes of fetal distress or you get brain damage in the baby. When she dropped dead, It was pretty much a done deal, no one could have put that team together in time even if the OB had been on site. Even if they could’ve pulled a team together in time and there weren’t complicating factors such as her weighing 400 lbs, they would never be morally or clinically justified to simply forgo attempting life saving interventions for the mother in order to save the twins. Save the mother, save the twins. Also, her lungs and heart were full of clots (a fact unknown to them at the time of the resuscitation efforts), so intubation/ventilation and chest compressions could never have bought them any time to save the babies.

    So it’s pretty debatable whether anything could have been done to save any of them even under ideal conditions at the best hospital in a major city, let alone in podunk Cañon City, Colorado . St. Thomas doesn’t even have a Neonatal ICU, which means a one-hour trip to Colorado Springs for two twenty-eight week small-for-gestational-age (due to multiple gestation pregnancy) babies.

    The understandably bereaved husband hires a lawyer that sounds like a complete cretin when he suggests that all the OB had to do was “instruct the Emergency Department staff to perform a C-section” (quoted in the Colorado Independent). He might just as reasonably suggest that a kiddie ride operator at the county fair go fly an F-16.

    The wrongful-death case is most likely without merit, which seems to be the conclusion of the courts, and which is my main point here. Nothing could have been done to change the outcome. So, yes I agree that the lawyers might look like jerks for pointing out the fact that Colorado law doesn’t recognize these babies as persons, but lawsuits seek to establish what the law IS and whether the law was broken or negligence occurred, not whether someone is living up to their stated ideals. My opinion is that the lawyers and Catholic Health Initiatives are not in fact “. . . appealing to an unjust law . . . as a method of avoiding the justice due to the bereaved for pure financial gain . . . ” or “refusing to practice an excellent form of Catholic civil disobedience”

    The hospital might without admitting any wrongdoing have a righteous inspiration to unequivocally state their deep condolences regarding the tragic death of his wife and sons, reaffirm their deep commitment to timely and competent life saving interventions, and state in no uncertain terms their uncompromising conviction that the unborn are human persons endowed with full dignity, regardless of what the law says, entrusting the details and outcome of that sad day into the hands of providence.

    It could be a beautiful gesture to purchase a burial plot for the twin boys or something. But beauty has a way of getting lost when angry, grieving people are lawyered-up and accusing you of killing their family. Kind acts and words have a way of being construed as an admission of guilt.

    • Oregon Catholic

      Your scenario might be true, but there was no attempt at all to save the babies. I think you would have to show that it was unreasonable to even try and I don’t think you can do that in this case. The woman coded in the waiting room and was in the ER within moments of her collapse. The staff had the opportunity to take the babies alive and in good condition. I think they focused on her for too long and by the time they stopped, someone decided it was too late for the babies to even try to save them.

      • Troy Freedman

        Hi , thanks for you comment. Emergency Department Physicians aren’t trained to do cesarean sections. Nobody on site and employed by the hospital was trained to do them. It’s outside their scope of practice. For all the reasons I’ve outlined above (timeliness–gotta get ‘em out in less than 5 minutes, no NICU staff on hand to provide the necessary interventions once they are out, not being ethically able to discontinue attempts at saving the mother) the opportunity to help the babies did not exist, and even under ideal, tightly controlled circumstances 28-week babies are never in “good condition”. Any rash but well intentioned attempt to save the babies would have almost certainly been futile.

        I don’t think it was a matter of cold and calloused hearts indifferent to saving babies. It was just a tragedy. If there is ANY blame to be laid, quite frankly it lies with the mother. Hypercoagulability (propensity to form clots) is a high risk with multiple gestation pregnancy and obesity. In my clinical judgement, weighing 400lbs at age 31 is to me evidence of a person who is not taking care of their health.

        • Oregon Catholic

          We’ll have to agree to disagree I guess.

          Any ER doc is qualified to do an emergency C-section, especially if the life of the mother is no longer your priority.

          The babies would be no worse off if delivered than left to die in utero, so making no attempt to save them is wrong, Even a 1% chance is better than the 0% chance they got.

          The ER team had 3 patients on their table, but it looks like they really only took care of 1.

          • Troy Freedman

            Scope of practice isn’t a matter of opinion, Oregon Catholic. ED physicians are not trained or qualified to perform a c-section. We aren’t talking about field dressing a deer here. Your ignorance of medicine in tandem with your superpower of divining the hidden and unknowable intentions of the Emergency Department staff that night is making you sound sort-of unstable. I will restate, again: of course the life of the mother is the priority. Saving the mother saves the babies, period. I swear to you, if there was a chance something could have been done, I
            would wholeheartedly agree that it should have been done. My opinion remains that under these particular circumstances, the little babies were dead in the water.

            It always amazes me how easy it is for people to assign malfeasance to healthcare providers. The vast majority of doctors and nurses are Moms and Dads who look at those little babies and see their own kids looking back at them. They cry when catastrophe happens. They lose sleep over it. They write letters of condolence. They go to funerals. They push the anxiety, nightmares, and sleepless nights away, then get up and go back to work the next day and do it again.

            We have to let go of the impulse to finger a villain in this sad case. It dishonors the loss.

          • Rivka

            You posted the most knowledgeable comments of any. Sorry that people were so quick to jump on them.

          • Friar Don, OBR

            Actually Oregon Catholic, they DID attempt to raise the OB doc, but there was no response. This facility is one that has limited resources, and limited knowledge transfer for “specialty cases” such as this. They were caring for all three patients as well as they could.

            Keep in mind also that Mother’s lungs were clotted, so the blood returning to the babies was not as oxygenated as it should have been as well, making the safe delivery and mental status of the babies even more questionable. Had the babies survived the C-Section, and had brain damage, would the Father have sued for allowing the babies to arrive with brain damage?

    • BitterPowerfulRuler

      Open season on Catholics? Sorry, but you have NO idea what you’re talking about. Catholics declare open season on everyone else, then complain when they only get even a little bit of their medicine back.

      A fetus is not a person. The MINIMAL definition for person is; human; individual. A fetus is human but not an individual. An individual is a member of the species that cannot be divided into its component parts further while remaining a whole member of that species. Placenta, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, etc… all make the fetus not an individual.

      In religious texts (and, yes, I’m Christian, also grew up Catholic), one is a person only when they have drawn first breath, which only occurs upon birth, otherwise a fetus would suffocate.

      Either way, granting a fetus personhood denies a woman’s position as a person.

      To the author, Catholics have long imposed their own interpretation of the law on others. Do you not remember Bishop Olmstead (as just ONE example)? If they disagreed with the law, they could have easily imposed their own interpretation on it, once again. Which, by default, means they either agreed with the secular law OR they don’t believe women are as deserving of the right to life as fetuses. That last is the only thing that could be true, if you continue to argue that this law is NOT something the Catholic Church agrees with.

      Nice catch-22, there, eh?

      • Troy Freedman

        Dear Bitter powerful ruler, There is so much that I find confused here. I am very sorry if you have been harmed by Catholics. There is a lot of woundedness out there.

        It is false to say that acknowledging the personhood of the unborn baby denies a woman’s human dignity. That is false. That a woman can create and sustain a new and unique life inside of her body then bring it forth as a gift to the world is a realization of the godlike powers of her femininity. Your mother did not despise you when she carried you. She did not regard you as a parasite or disease. She did not see in you an affront to her human dignity. She knew then what she knows now: you are a miracle and a gift.

        Sincerely, Troy Freedman

        • Marty Sullivan

          So the fact that she has a functioning uterus is what makes her a person?

          • Rivka

            That’s not what he said.

          • SandyRavage

            He said that the ability to bear children is a part of the woman’s dignity. In other word’s the essence of being a woman is reproductive.

          • lIDSFH

            since when is “part of a woman’s dignity” synonymous with “all of a woman’s dignity”??

      • Super T

        Not sure you understand thi, but the “Placenta, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, etc… ” are parts (the first two organs) of the fetus’ body, not the mother’s. They are part of the baby’s ‘individual’ body which are shed when no longer needed (ie in the early stages of birth). Nutrients (not blood) pass from the mother’s uterus to the baby’s placenta across semipermiable membranes. The fetal blood pumped by the fetus’ heart circulates via the umbilical cord through the placenta to recieve oxygen and those nutrients and return them to the fetus’ heart for distribution through out his body. So your point there makes no sense. As to the rest that makes so little sense I won’t comment.

      • thethinman

        I think you have confused “individual” with “autonomous”. The fetus is certainly not “autonomous” but this has no bearing at all on the question of individuality.

      • Nikki Moonitz-Volaski

        What a crock!

      • ChrisSanchez

        A person who is not a Christian can deny the reality and importance of human life, and pretend that an unborn baby is not a human, or that it doesn’t matter whether it is a baby or not, because it is small. So, to summarize, an atheist can be for or against killing babies by abortion. But a believing Christian or Jew can only be against such barbarity.

        • Marty Sullivan

          actually Judaism tends to be far more liberal on abortion than Christianity. Even the more conservative Jewish sects don’t believe in the whole “life begins at conception” thing.

    • Claude

      From a medical perspective, it sounds to me like this chick was a dead man walking.

      Very tempting to quit reading after junk like that.

      • Monique

        Yes that was very disrespectful.

  • ejusdem

    Does anyone know where we can get the actual petition and answer in this case? I’d like to read the official court documents for myself instead of depending upon a journalist’s interpretation of what the plaintiff’s counsel said the pleadings said. Too attenuated for my tastes.

  • Sabrina L.

    Rock solid arguments once again, Marc. May the Spirit be heard!

  • Mugling

    Catholic institutions have long been going to off the rails (schools, some charities, etc.) I don’t understand how it’s the least bit surprising that their lack of Catholic nature would creep up in court. I think the hospital is absolutely wrong in using this line of defense, but given how loosely affiliated many Catholic institutions are with the mother Church I am unsure how much this case actually reflects the attitudes of the local, Catholic hierarchy.

    • Monique


  • pagansister

    The twins were 7 months along and smaller babies have survived. Was there ANY effort to save them after it was determined that there was no hope for the mother? Obviously the doctors would have had to move rapidly to remove the twins. Hiding behind a Colorado law that states that a fetus isn’t a human is a crock—as the Church uses the “life begins at conception” as one of many reasons against abortions.

  • Sven2547

    “Either the fetus is a joke, the actions of the hospital sensible and the grieving of the father a bit ridiculous (for who cries over the loss of a parasite?)…”
    You damage your own argument when you straw-man the pro-choice position so badly.

  • Monique Shrive

    These are the things which make us hated. Where are the Bishops?

  • Monique Shrive


  • barefoot cinderella

    please post prolife comments on

    that place is teeming with factual inaccuracies about abortion and prolife issues