The Catholic Church’s Convenient Morality – NYTimes.com
A Convenient Morality
By FRANK BRUNI
Last week, the Obama administration proposed a further tweak to its rules about insurance coverage of contraception, trying to quiet religious organizations’ complaints that the edict tramples on their beliefs. Roman Catholic officials have been especially vociferous. Their moral conviction, they insist, cannot be slave to secular convention.
Except, that is, when it works to their advantage. When it profits them. And this two-tracked approach was illustrated by another recent news story, one that flickered onto and then off the public’s radar more quickly than it should have, and deserves a closer look.
The news story brought to light a wrongful-death suit by a widower, Jeremy Stodghill, in regard to his wife and the twin 28-week-old fetuses inside her when she died in a Catholic hospital, St. Thomas More, in Cañon City, Colorado.
The hospital’s lawyers argued that the woman’s death couldn’t have been prevented. As to whether proper medical attention might have yielded the delivery of two healthy baby boys, lawyers argued that the question was ultimately irrelevant, because wrongful death can apply only to people and, legally speaking, fetuses aren’t human lives.