Today I read Jacob M. Appel's After St Joseph's: Are Women Still Safe in Catholic Hospitals. (I'm not linking to it, if you wanna read it, it's there. I don't want to drive traffic to their site, frankly.) There are things in this article that are just wrong.
The article decries Bishop Olmsted's (of Phoenix) dreadful treatment of an altruistic Irish sister who flagrantly ignored Church teaching and authorized by right of membership on a hospital board, an abortion for a young woman struggling with heart failure.
There are several serious problems here. As Catholics, we do not kill someone to save someone else's life. There are at times things are done that result in the death of an unborn baby, but a direct abortion is not one of them. For instance, it is permissible to take drug therapy for cancer (or any other disease) even though the treatment might result in the death of an unborn child. The drugs are not taken to cause the death of the child. (I believe in military terms that would be considered collateral damage - something which the Left stridently opposes.)
The thing that glares at me from this post, though, is that Appel writes:
"In contrast, the right of a woman to choose her own life over that of a fetus or embryo has not been seriously questioned in the United States and, except in a handful of cases involving women in comas, no American court or legislature has challenged this principle in recent memory."
That is emphatically not true. He's just wrong. Louise Marie Roth of The Huffington Post (there's only one, isn't there?) wrote about the obliteration of the pregnant woman as a person with rights in July of last year. All over this country, women are being forced to give birth by C-section by judicial order. They are not allowed to preserve their right to bodily integrity because some doctor has determined that he wants to operate. The risk of death and disease is far greater for women who give birth surgically than for women who give birth vaginally. That's a medical fact. If a doctor said I needed a C-section and I refused because I prefer to save my own life, there's a definite possibility that a court order could be handed down forcing me to risk my life in surgery.
Can't have it both ways.
The National Advocates for Pregnant Women
Even the ACLU thinks that women should retain their rights over their body.
From a spiritual perspective, my heart breaks for mothers who have to make heroic choices.I don't say this lightly having been pregnant many times. But that is what our faith is - not our Catholic religion - our faith in the Lord. Hope that He will heal our infirmities, prayers that we will be strengthened and trust that He has worked all things out for our good way before the beginning of us. This is indeed what I what I would counsel my own daughters: "Trust in the Lord, for He is good. His ways are not our ways. Trust and gather the joy from this day. If He calls you home, He had a reason. Rejoice and trust."
Hard, damn straight, that would be hard, and I hope and pray that I never have to face that. But they know and we know that to kill a tiny baby to live one's life is a desecration of the gift that is life. God is in the miracle business and I have seen enough miracles to know that He is still about that everyday.
Death is not the worst thing.