Did the above headline catch your attention? It caught mine when it appeared in my Facebook news feed recently. And it was not an anomaly: The following headlines also showed up in Google searches and on Twitter.
Catholic hospital system: Fetus not a person
The fetus is not a person, so sayeth the Catholic Church
Catholic hospital: Fetus not legally a person
Catholic hospital claims fetus not person
When I first encountered the headline, I was incensed. And after reading the article through the lens of the headline, I was even more incensed. It is a heartbreaker. Here is a recap of the story.
According to a court document, 31-year-old Lori Stodghill was 28 weeks pregnant when she went to the emergency room of St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado, vomiting and short of breath. She went into cardiac arrest in the hospital’s lobby and died. Her unborn twin boys perished with her. That was New Year’s Day 2006.
Lori’s husband was now a widower, left to care for a two-year-old child alone. He filed a lawsuit against the hospital because, he alleged, his wife did not receive the care she needed when she arrived at the hospital. (See this link to the full story.)
But wait…there is more to this story than the sensational media headline that most people will never move beyond.
The courts have sided with the Church’s legal team in Colorado because, under state law, an embryo is not person until it is born alive, according to court documents. In other words, you need to pass the birth canal to be considered a person. The Catholic hospital’s legal team argued their case based on that law.
In order for Mr. Stodghill to have won his case, this law would have to be changed to say that an embryo is a person while still in utero.
One of the reasons the Catholic hospital won its case is because pro-choice advocates won their case. We won. Without the drama of the media, it’s worth thinking about, isn’t it?
Odd Loves Company,
(Thank you to Facebook friend Steve Myers for opening this conversation up beyond the headline.)