Arizona Nun Excommunicated for Approving Emergency Abortion
A Catholic nun in Arizona was recently reassigned and "automatically excommunicated" following controversy after she approved an emergency abortion during a patient medical crisis late in 2009. Sister Margaret McBride was a senior administrator at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix.
A statement released by the hospital said, "In this tragic case, the treatment necessary to save the mother's life required the termination of an 11-week pregnancy. This decision was made after consultation with the patient, her family, her physicians, and in consultation with the Ethics Committee, of which Sr. Margaret McBride is a member." According to The Arizona Republic, the patient suffered from pulmonary hypertension, which limits heart and lung function and can be fatal during pregnancy.
Reverand Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix said in a statement "I am gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this Diocese. I am further concerned by the hospital's
statement that the termination of a human life was necessary to treat the mother's underlying medical condition." Olmsted also said "If a Catholic formally cooperates in the procurement of an abortion, they are automatically excommunicated by that action."
In an editorial, Dr. John Garvie, St. Joseph's Hospital's chief of gastroenterology, wrote. "Let me assure all that there is no finer defender of life at our hospital than Sister McBride. Everyone I know considers Sister Margaret to be the moral conscience of the hospital."
Media Resources: Arizona Republic 5/15/10; Statements of Reverand Thomas J. Olmsted and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Arizona Republic 5/15/10; Arizona Republic 5/18/10
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .