A Catholic hospital in Colorado argued in a court of law that fetuses are not people. Yes, you read that correctly.
Whether or not you agree with that position is one thing. Whether or not you agree that they look like blatant hypocrites is another.
Catholic Health Initiatives, the nonprofit that runs that facility, St. Thomas More Hospital, and 170 others, says their mission is to “nurture the healing ministry of the Church” and to be guided by “fidelity to the Gospel.”
Non-natural birth control and abortions are forbidden. “Catholic health care ministry witnesses to the sanctity of life ‘from the moment of conception until death,’” the [U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops] directives state. “The Church’s defense of life encompasses the unborn.”
Lori Stodghill was 31-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 [...]
But 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.
So since the fetuses were not “born alive,” they were not considered to be “persons.” So much for all that personhood talk. These particular fetuses were not given the same legal status as the ones in the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that Paul Ryan co-sponsored that gives full legal rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization.
But only because they couldn’t win a court case.
The legal arguments presented will undoubtedly spark a new round of endless debate, mainly because the hypocrisy of their legal defense is pretty jaw-dropping.
Moral of the story: Self-serving, cover-your-ass legal solutions trump religious beliefs and piety, even though money is supposed to be the root of all evil… except in cases where you stand to lose a major lawsuit. Then all that Cells, Zygotes, and Fetuses Are People Too talk goes right out the window.