When are Catholics not Catholics? When they’re being sued.

Values can be pesky things, Vagina News friends. 

Catholic Health Initiatives is a nonprofit religious organization that runs 170 health care facilities in the US. Those facilities follow the ‘Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church’, authored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – which include forbidding non-natural birth control and abortion – because the directives define life as “from the moment of conception until death.”

One of those facilities is St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado. Jeremy Stodghill is suing the hospital for wrongful death. In 2006, his wife Lori came into the ER, pregnant with twins, vomiting and short of breath. Her obstetrician, Dr. Pelham Staples, was the on-call obstetrician that night. He failed to respond to the page alerting him to her condition; She and both babies died less than an hour later. It was determined that she suffered a main arterial block that led to a massive heart attack, and an emergency c-section likely would have saved the babies’ lives.

Attorneys for Catholic Health Initiatives have argued, so far successfully, that in spite of the organization’s policy that life begins at conception, Colorado law defines life as starting at birth, so Mr. Stodghill cannot sue for wrongful death of his children. To put it another way, they deny women access to abortion because they believe life begins at conception, but are using a law that says life begins at birth to avoid legal responsibility for the negligent deaths of two fetuses in their care.

To quote Jon Stewart, “If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values: they’re hobbies.”

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