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Dizzying Intellect » Shuttering

Shuttering

I think I’ve made it pretty clear in the past that I don’t exactly love our local dead tree rag, the Post-Dispatch. It’s just about the only place for moderately up-to-date local news online, so I read it, but the editing is painful in its lack of, well, existence. Also, with very few notable exceptions, the writers tend to be unapologetically ultra-left wing, and the commenters are just plain toxic. So it pains me to say this, but I learned something there today.

I never even thought about this:

Could St. Louis lose its Catholic hospitals under new federal abortion legislation?

Abortion’s not my issue. I’m very wishy-washy on it, so I try not to discuss it — since it tends to be one of those not-wishy-washy-at-all kinds of topics.

There’s a big Jewish hospital in town with an amazing heart center (which gets a lot of press, which is why I’m even aware of it), but before I moved here, I never really thought of hospitals being affiliated with specific religious denominations. Which, in retrospect is a little odd, what with the “Saint” in so many hospital names. I have the constitution of a horse, so maybe that’s why? I’m never in hospitals (er, knock on wood.) so I don’t give them much thought.

Anyway.

A proposed bill promising major changes in the U.S. abortion landscape has Roman Catholic bishops threatening to close Catholic hospitals if the Democratic Congress and White House make it law.

The Freedom of Choice Act failed to get out of subcommittee in 2004, but its sponsor is poised to refile it now that former Senate co-sponsor Barack Obama occupies the Oval Office.

FOCA, as the bill is known, would make federal law out of the abortion protections established in 1973 by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade ruling.

I mean, they have to do what they think is right, I guess. I can see where you couldn’t have a private Catholic hospital performing abortions. I was Catholic in a former life, and as I recall the rules, that’s pretty high on the DON’T list.

The legislation has some Roman Catholic bishops threatening to shutter the country’s 624 Catholic hospitals — including 11 in the Archdiocese of St. Louis — rather than comply.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki, a Chicago auxiliary bishop, took up the issue of what to do with Catholic hospitals if FOCA became law. “It would not be sufficient to withdraw our sponsorship or to sell them to someone who would perform abortions,” he said. “That would be a morally unacceptable cooperation in evil.”

But that’s kind of scary to me. Again, not a big hospital patron, but 624 US hospitals would just close? Like decent medical care isn’t expensive or hard enough to find right now?

They won’t even sell, they’ll just shut down? Maybe sell the building to a mall developer or something?

Obama had promised during his campaign he would sign FOCA if he were elected.

This just never occurred to me. I figured they’d just excommunicate doctors who performed abortions. Neither side is a done deal, anyway. There are other options on both sides of the argument. So is this scaremongering or a real concern? Read the whole thing.

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