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Connecticut Bishops Statement On Plan B and Catholic Hospitals

This just came out on the Connecticut Catholic Conference website.

The Catholic Bishops of Connecticut, joined by the leaders of the Catholic hospitals in the State, issue the following statement regarding the administration of Plan B in Catholic hospitals to victims of rape:

The four Catholic hospitals in the State of Connecticut remain committed to providing competent and compassionate care to victims of rape. In accordance with Catholic moral teaching, these hospitals provide emergency contraception after appropriate testing. Under the existing hospital protocols, this includes a pregnancy test and an ovulation test. Catholic moral teaching is adamantly opposed to abortion, but not to emergency contraception for victims of rape.

This past spring the Governor signed into a law “An Act Concerning Compassionate Care for Victims of Sexual Assault,” passed by the State Legislature. It does not allow medical professionals to take into account the results of the ovulation test. The Bishops and other Catholic health care leaders believe that this law is seriously flawed, but not sufficiently to bar compliance with it at the present time. We continue to believe this law should be changed.

Nonetheless, to administer Plan B pills in Catholic hospitals to victims of rape a pregnancy test to determine that the woman has not conceived is sufficient. An ovulation test will not be required. The administration of Plan B pills in this instance cannot be judged to be the commission of an abortion because of such doubt about how Plan B pills and similar drugs work and because of the current impossibility of knowing from the ovulation test whether a new life is present. To administer Plan B pills without an ovulation test is not an intrinsically evil act.

Since the teaching authority of the Church has not definitively resolved this matter and since there is serious doubt about how Plan B pills work, the Catholic Bishops of Connecticut have stated that Catholic hospitals in the State may follow protocols that do not require an ovulation test in the treatment of victims of rape. A pregnancy test approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration suffices. If it becomes clear that Plan B pills would lead to an early chemical abortion in some instances, this matter would have to be reopened.


As far as the science goes, this is from Plan B's own website:

How does Plan B work?
Plan B is believed to act as an emergency contraceptive principally by preventing ovulation or fertilization (by altering tubal transport of sperm and/or ova). In addition, it may inhibit implantation by altering the endometrium. Plan B is not effective if a woman is pregnant. Plan B is a contraceptive and cannot terminate an established pregnancy.


The drug manufacturers lay claim that it is not an abortifacient but on their own website they say "it may inhibit implantation." Implantation of what? the science is clear on this. To pretend ignorance is just that. Pretend.

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8 comments:

Jack said...

Their "logic" is unbelievable. Even if it was unclear as to how Plan B works, what ever happened to the Church's teaching on a doubtful conscience?? With a doubtful conscience one must choose the morally safer course otherwise he is willing to commit evil. in this case the CT bishops are willing to allow murder. unbelievable.

Jerry Nickels said...

Well, what do we expect after 40 years of wandering in a liturgical desert? Some of our Bishops and a great many Catholic academians have lost their way due largely to the weak, "me" centered liturgy that makes for a weak spirituality. When we lose the correct sense of our relationship to God, we lose the correct sense of our relationship to each other.

Anonymous said...

The statement "Catholic moral teaching is adamantly opposed to abortion, but not to emergency contraception for victims of rape" is false. The Pontifical Academy for Life rejected emergency contraception outright when it said "It is clear, therefore, that the proven "anti-implantation" action of the morning-after pill is really nothing other than a chemically induced abortion. It is neither intellectually consistent nor scientifically justifiable to say that we are not dealing with the same thing."

There is a plethora of authentic Catholic resources pertinent to the issue which should have guided the decision of these bishops.

The ethical and legal advisors these bishops have consulted are no more competent than the psyciatric and psychological advicors who led them in dealing with sexually deviant priests.

Let us hope that other US bishops will not regard unity in the episcopacy as more important than fedility to truth.

David said...

Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of Catholic teaching knows that this is scandalous [in the Canonical sense].

Anonymous said...

Anybody have an email address of the communications office of these Bishops that we can exercise our spiritual works of mercy, and offer a few choice words of "correction" to their error?

Anonymous said...

Look at the second phrase, which, if you diagram the sentence says: The Church does not adamantly oppose contraception (for some groups, under certain circumstances). Hmm. If we adopt the secular view that this is all about the PARENTS, then we agree with this...and we find ourselves quickly simply entering negotiations to reason together to allow more groups to have recourse to contraception and more circumstances being considered acceptable to some form of artificial inhibition of a process God has put in place and which is underway (or can be considered quite possible underway) without our approval. However, if we are looking at all life as being infinitely valuable, then we need to think about the CHILD who has been formed (or who could likely have been formed or be imminently about to be formed out of the man and woman joined), not the motivations of the parents for joining, which seems to be the direction that the Catholic Church has always headed indistinctly at times, but rather distinctly in Donum Vitae. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

This decision was made in Connecticut three weeks ago, and I just heard about it. Where is the outrage in the Catholic community? And why isn't it making the news?

I'm frankly stunned. This is a scandal, and from what I've read the only person publicly saying so is Judy Brown.

Anonymous said...

Amazing! Whenever an important election cycle comes up you can count on them to sign off on a piece of Democrat claptrap like November 1994 “Confronting a Culture of Violence: A Catholic Framework for Action,” [found to be full of errors and botched statistics] which addressed alleged gun violence. In November 2000 the bishops adopted a statement titled, “Responsibility, Rehabilitation and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice” in which they say that “in the long run and with few exceptions (i.e., police officers, military use), handguns should be eliminated from our society.” etc. etc. Notice these always come out just BEFORE an Election while their watered down wimpy statements on Abortion always occur AFTER an Election cycle. Notice also that these are always statements that have been prepared by others off in the corner and are set before them to sign off on without any real personal vetting. Rightly or wrongly one has to conclude that they have degenerated into passive Chaplins for the Democrat Party. I would challenge any reader to go back and read your old diocesan newspaper - the issue that came out before any election cycle and it will have a blurb about Abortion being just one of many issues that should be considered by the voter like the environment or gun violence or the economy then immediately after the election you will find some kind of "forceful" statement on Abortion. When will this end? When will there be some balance and consistency.

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