Sunday, May 19, 2013

Boston Cardinal Wants to Determine Whether Women Live or Die

Trying and Failing to Have Religious Tolerance in This Area

Ireland is a very religious country, and religion dominates its politics.  Abortion, as one might imagine, is illegal in that republic.

Abortion is illegal in Ireland, and though there are emergency exceptions on the books, doctors rarely perform them for fear of prosecution. Lawmakers have been debating the issue since a jury ruled in April that poor medical care led to the well-publicized death last year of an Indian woman who underwent a drawn-out miscarriage in an Irish hospital, where doctors refused to perform an abortion.

So there does seem to be an issue.  So here’s what Ireland is doing about it.

The legislation would allow abortions when doctors determine the pregnancy presents a "real and substantial risk" to a mother's life, including from suicide.

The legislation "restates the general prohibition on abortion in Ireland," but provides "legal clarity" to doctors, Mr. Kenny said in a May 1 speech. His office declined to comment Tuesday.

Mr. Kenney in this case is Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.  And he supports the legislation.  And he is scheduled to speak at the Boston College graduation.  And that’s where there’s a problem.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, in Rome in March.

Boston's Roman Catholic leader traditionally delivers the blessing during the graduation ceremony at Boston College, the most prominent Catholic college in the archdiocese.

But Cardinal Sean O'Malley will skip this year's ceremony, set for Monday, saying he objects to the participation of another scheduled speaker: Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny, who supports legislation in Ireland that would permit abortions in order to save the life of the mother.

Now this Forum admires much about the Catholic Church.  But this is hard to let slide.  Cardinal O’Malley would substitute himself for the doctors and for the family that must make an extremely difficult and heart rendering decision about whether or not to abort a fetus, even one that is no longer alive,  in order to save the life of the mother.  Think about this scenario if Cardinal O’Malley's position is law. 

Your wife, daughter, granddaughter or other close female relative or dear friend is having a difficult, death inducing pregnancy.  The doctors and the family together decide that an abortion is the only way to save her life.  But the law of the land, dictated by a religious order,  steps in and prevents this.  The result, your loved one dies.  Your wife is dead or your daughter is dead.  Someone who is very dear to you is dead because a religious leader you never met, who knows nothing of you or your family, who is not even cognizant of your situation has decreed that your wife or daughter should die.

Is that really what religion, any religion is all about?  

1 comment:

  1. Sure, it's what many ancient religions were about, and what some frightening fundamentalist religions are about today. As for modern religions that promote morality, decency, and humility, no, not so much.