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Catholic Hospitals Say They Must Close If Abortion Bill Passes

Hoping to end the abortion debate once and for all, many pro-choice lawmakers support the Freedom of Choice Act, a law which would codify Roe v. Wade and set a national standard for abortion rights. Barack Obama's statements that he wants to sign the act into law, has put pro-life advocates on the defensive. Specifically, leaders in the Catholic Church are warning that the law would force Catholic hospitals to close since they do not provide abortions. This would be a major problem, since about one-third of all US hospitals are Catholic.

In its current form, FOCA would cancel out existing laws that limit abortion (up to the point of fetal viability), including parental notification rules. Catholic hospitals fear that conscience laws, which allow federally funded hospitals to deny abortions based on religious grounds, would also be tossed.

While it's still uncertain whether FOCA will overturn conscience protections, and whether it will even be passed for that matter, do you think there should be an exception made for Catholic hospitals?


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