Abortion

Abortion

I’m not gonna write about the “March for Life.”   I went over there for a while, braved the freezing temperatures, listened to a few of the predictable speeches (I had no idea how bad a person I was) and just hung around until my meter expired.  I will say that I saw lots of young kids and hardly any of those old gross fetus signs.

Interestingly, I heard no talk about this legal case that’s been getting a lot of attention lately where the “Catholic Church” is supposedly backing down from its centuries old position that fetuses are people and deserve full legal protection.  Now, let me clarify.

Thirty-one year old Lori Stodghill was seven months pregnant with twins when she arrived at the St. Thomas More Hospital in Colorado on New Year’s Day, 2006.  She was vomiting and short of breath and she soon passed out as she was being wheeled into an examination room.  The staff tried to resuscitate her to no avail and she died of a massive heart attack.  Her doctor, Pelham Staples, who coincidentally on call that night but he apparently never answered his page.  Ms. Stodgill died at the hospital less than an hour after she arrived and her twins died in her womb.

Abortion

Abortion

Soon thereafter, the inevitable lawsuit was filed by Ms. Stodghill’s husband.  He filed a wrongful-death lawsuit, arguing that Doctor Staples could have saved his wife’s and the twins’ lives if he had at least instructed the emergency room staff to perform a caesarian-section. An expert later said such a procedure may not have saved the mother, but it may have saved the twins.  The lead defendant in the case is Catholic Health Initiatives, an Englewood-based nonprofit that runs the hospital as well as roughly 170 other health facilities in 17 states.

So, the focus of the suit turned to the twins.  In response, the attorney for the defendants came up with an interesting argument.  He argued that the plaintiff’s case (as it related to the twins) was not valid because “in Colorado that the term ‘person,’ as is used in the Wrongful Death Act, encompasses only individuals born alive…therefore plaintiffs cannot maintain wrongful death claims based on two unborn fetuses.”

That’s when the proverbial poop hit the pro-choice fan.  Hypocrisy, they screamed!   So, now, because it’s convenient and it might cost them money, the “Church” is saying that fetuses are NOT people?  Now they want it both ways?  Suddenly, this “gotcha” moment spread like wildfire.

I grow weary of how political groups (on both sides of any issue) love to scrutinize every word uttered by their opponent and blow it up if it appears to contradict their mission in any way.  They watch for any comment – even if someone is merely asking a question out loud – and they pounce if they think they can make hay (or money) out of it.  Then, the media jumps on it.  If some rock star says something – like a Dixie Chick questioning the Iraqi war – Fox News is all over it.   And MSNBC ain’t any better folks.   It’s the 24 hour news cycle that strains for any kind of “news” and political advocates now know how to play the game.

So, unless I am totally missing the boat – and that is always a possibility – the way I interpret the attorney’s defense is that if you review the current law in Colorado it says that the two twins shall not be recognized as “people.”    And, as such, they cannot be brought into this lawsuit.  As far as I know, the “Catholic Church” has not reversed their centuries old doctrine that fetus are (or at least, should be declared) a “person.”  I think we all would have heard about that policy reversal, don’t you think?

They surely do not like this Wrongful Death Act as it is written in Colorado.  Chances are they may have actually opposed it because it didn’t include their precious fetuses.  And they may be actively trying to get the law changed.  But the law is the law at this point and, while they may not like it, they will surely try to use it to their advantage.

So, what’s the ballyhoo all about?