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Direct abortion is not emergency care, USCCB committee chairman says following Supreme Court decision

July 03, 2024

» Continue to this story on USCCB

CWN Editor's Note: Following a Supreme Court decision on “emergency” abortions, the chairman of the US bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities distinguished emergency care from direct abortions.

In a 6-3 decision, the Court restored a lower court injunction that barred enforcement of Idaho’s Defense of Life Act to the extent that it conflicts with a 1986 federal law, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) (CWN coverage). However, in doing so, the Court avoided the question of whether EMTALA and the Idaho law are actually in conflict.

Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Virginia, the chairman of the committee, said that “the Catholic faith and Catholic hospitals unequivocally allow for procedures that are necessary to save the life of a pregnant mother in a medical emergency, even when they tragically result in the unintended loss of her preborn child.”

“EMTALA should not be newly misconstrued to override state laws protecting life nor misunderstood to mandate the performance of direct abortions—which are always wrong—as opposed to morally acceptable procedures that are necessary to preserve a mother’s life but tragically would result in a loss of her child,” Bishop Burbidge added.

In 2010, the US bishops’ Committee on Doctrine issued a statement on the distinction between direct abortion and legitimate medical procedures when a mother’s health or life is at risk.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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