Saturday, March 25, 2006

Pills, politics, and puzzlement

I'm listening to an NPR story on the controversy in Connecticut about a bill requiring hospitals to offer emergency contraception to rape victims. The debate centered, not surprisingly, on the four Catholic hospitals in the state, who did not want to be required to provide EC, as they are morally opposed to it. Their policy is to test female rape victims to see if they are near ovulation, and if they are, to tell them where they can obtain EC.

Wait a minute. If Catholics are morally opposed to the use of emergency contraception and they are trying to be consistent with this moral opposition, why would they tell the women where to go to get emergency contraception? If you're opposed to some action, you don't help people commit that action. It's like saying, "I think armed robbery is wrong, but the liquor store next door has a lot of cash, and here's where you can buy a gun." This is a cop-out. If you believe that EC is morally wrong for all women in all circumstances, then you wouldn't tell rape victims where to get it. If you believe it is an acceptable choice for some women in certain contexts (e.g., rape), then you offer it to women in your hospital and leave it up to their conscience to decide. The current policy is just moral hand-waving -- Oh, we didn't give them the EC, so our conscience is clean.

It reminds me of the inconsistencies in policies which ostensibly claim abortion is murder.

End of the story: The bill wasn't passed . . . lawmakers declined to vote on it.

No comments:

Post a Comment