July 28 (DP.net).─ According to a well known catholic bulletin devoted to advocate Catholic views on political and ethical issues, the ACLU is engaged in a propaganda war against Catholic healthcare. "It has filed a lawsuit demanding all documents related to complaints against Catholic hospitals in a fishing expedition designed to show that, by refusing to perform abortions, Catholic hospitals are somehow 'harming' women."
They reject the ACLU's "anti-religion, pro-abortion, radical agenda", including these demands in their anti-Catholic campaigns:
- A federal mandate forcing all Catholic hospitals to provide "emergency reproductive health care";
- A 'systemic investigation' by the federal government of Catholic hospitals and "all necessary corrective action where violations are found" ─ a meassure only targeting Catholic hospitals; and,
- Changes in federal law to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions on demand.
The Obama administration's Health and Human Services agency recently announced new directives demanding that non-religious hospitals perform abortions and sex changes or they will no longer qualify for Medicare reimbursements. After a legal fight on religious freedom, Catholic hospitals were exempted from this new rule, but the ACLU keeps trying with new lawsuits.
Last January, Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, declared on this issue that "laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed". In order to justify abortions on demand, she added: "I believe that the potential for life begins at conception. I am a Methodist, as you know. My church has struggled with this issue. In fact, you can look at the Methodist Book of Discipline and see the contradiction (but) individuals must be entrusted to make this profound decision".
The ACLU legal attacks, the HHS directive and candidate Clinton's beliefs are considered by the Church as an all-out offensive against Catholic ethics and religious freedoms. The ACLU is so radical in its defense of abortion that it has held auctions to pay for them. Furthermore, it has championed the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would have required Catholic hospitals to perform abortions or lose federal funding. This Law did not pass Congress and never made it to President Obama’s desk, though he pledged to sign it.
A recent lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was based on the following arguments:
In 2010, a pregnant woman went to a Catholic hospital after her water broke. She later claimed that she was never appraised of possible dangers to her health, and the option of choosing an abortion. The ACLU is suing the USCCB because it says the bishops’ conference is responsible for the Michigan hospital’s decision not to discuss the abortion option.
The ACLU has been pro-abortion and anti-Catholic for decades. It became officially pro-abortion in 1967, six years before Roe v. Wade, and has been suing the Catholic Church on this and other issues for decades. On the abortion issue, those in favor to facilitate it on demand, call it "pro-choice". Their main argument is that women have a right to reproductive choice. Other important arguments are rape or incest victims, as well as minors that were not careful on their sexual activities.
In addition, the ACLU argues that religious ideology is no foundation for any law. They insist on saying that freedom of religion is guaranteed to any citizen in the United States; so why would the beliefs and values of one religion mandate actual laws for all citizens? This argument is countered by Catholics who underline that they are asking for laws protecting regious beliefs, so that religious people and Catholic institutions are not forced to act against their ethical values. In addition, Catholics deeply lament abortion laws that do not offer any protection whatsoever to the unborn babies right to live. In general, Catholics expect a proper respect for their ethical values within their own institutions and due protection for the unborn baby with some legal restrictions applied to the population as a whole. They argue that the law should restrict abortion when pregnancy is not a serious health issue and other non mandatory viable options are offered to pregnant women instead of termination.
Catholics argue that education and information are very important. Many women actually believe that the baby in their womb is a little thing, it's a blob of tissue with no life of their own. Therefore, their decision to terminate pregnancy is a matter of doing with their bodies whatever they wish, because the fetus is no more than a growth in a part of their body. Catholics argue that the fetus is a separate entity having a genetic composition that is absolutely unique, different from any other human that has ever existed, including that of its mother.
Pro-choice advocates are recently conceding the scientific proofs that the fetus is a separate entity but will argue that the entity in the womb is still not, or not yet, a "person." Pro-life advocates answer that "not a person" is a decidedly unscientific argument: it has nothing to do with science and everything to do with someone's own moral or political philosophy, though that someone may not readily admit it.
Whatever side we take in a democratic context, the law should always protect human rights and freedoms. Religious freedom and support for their ethical values is one of them.