Wednesday, September 24, 2008

"Pro-life" = pro-death

Victoria's Abortion Law Reform Bill has passed the lower house, and will go before the Legislative Council in October. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church is stepping up its campaign against the bill, threatening to close their hospitals in Victoria if it passes. Their specific problem is a clause in the bill which requires doctors with a moral objection to performing an abortion to provide an effective referral to a patient so that they can get one elsewhere; according to the Catholic Church, recognising that the patient's wishes come first is a gross violation of their freedom of conscience (the freedom of patients to actually get the medical care they are seeking are apparently not important). But worse, they object to a clause which imposes a positive duty on medical practioners to save the life of the mother by performaing abortions in an actual emergency, regardless of any belief they have to the contrary. According to the Catholic Church, women in these circumstances should simply be left to die.

And people wonder why Catholicism has such a bad name...

I respect the freedom of conscience of Catholic doctors to refuse to perform abortions, but at the same time the wishes of the patient are paramount. The requirement to make an effective referral is a good compromise on this issue. As for refusing to save lives in an emergency, this is simply depraved indifference, tantamount to murder, and if Catholic doctors are unable to perform their duties, they simply have no business practicing medicine.

There's a more scathing critique at Hoyden About Town.

[Hat-tip: Larvatus Prodeo]