As Louisiana closes abortion centers following the overturning of Roe Vs Wade by giving certain abortion decisions to the states, the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops recently stated they will allow abortifacient medicines to be given in Catholic hospitals to victims of sexual-assault. In a secular journal called The Advocate, there is a new article titled What does Louisiana’s abortion ban mean for Plan B as a lifeline for rape victims? In that article, the secular author rightly names “emergency contraception” as this: “Emergency contraception is the proper term for what often is called Plan B or the morning-after pill.” It adds: “The pills can prevent or delay the release of the woman’s egg from the ovary, called ovulation, which often prevents the egg from being fertilized and implanted, thereby preventing pregnancy.”
Of course, “preventing implantation” is not “preventing pregnancy” as the author asserts. “Preventing implantation” is simply the killing of a new individual. Every Catholic knows this. Also, every medical book through the early 1980s taught that pregnancy begins with fertilization, not implantation.
Plan B functions as both a contraceptive and an abortifacient. Such medicines are now permitted in Catholic Emergency Departments in Louisiana, according to the above article. In fact, it quotes the executive director of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, Tom Costanza, in saying, “A female who has been raped should be able to defend herself against a potential conception from the sexual assault… and after appropriate testing, she can be treated with appropriate medication to prevent ovulation.”
What is such an “appropriate medication”? Whereas the Church has had good and valid bio-ethical debates on spermicide being used post-rape (for spermicide is not an abortifacient and spermicide is simply the stopping the completion of a criminal act, namely rape) the promotion of abortifacients is certainly never permitted.
The Louisiana bishops are medically and bio-ethically wrong for several reasons. First, as even the secular Advocate article above states, the medicine used in any Emergency Department post-sexual assault functions pharmacologically as a means to stop both ovulation and implantation. Tom Costanza (and presumably the Louisiana bishops for whom he speaks) are either ignorant of this medicine or purposefully turning a blind-eye to the fact that these meds are both contraceptive and abortifacient. The Louisiana bishops are now giving the green-light to abortions in Catholic Emergency Departments, whether they know it or not. However, they do know it (especially if Costanza speaks for them.) How do I know this? Because even the secular Advocate (to whom Costanza spoke) calls these meds Plan B. Everyone knows that Plan B functions as both a contraceptive and an abortifacient.
Or, if they don’t know their medicine, the Louisiana hierarchy is at least aware of Louisiana Act 513 which states, “The treating healthcare provider shall inform the victim of the option to be provided emergency contraception at the hospital or healthcare facility and, upon the completion of a pregnancy test yielding a negative result, shall provide emergency contraception upon the request of the victim.” LifeSite News notes that this Act 513 “passed in anticipation of the reversal of Roe v. Wade and signed last month by Gov. John Bel Edwards, a professed Catholic, requires ‘all licensed hospitals in this state’ to offer emergency contraception pills to rape victims on demand.”
Now, why would someone who has had a “pregnancy test yielding a negative result” need “emergency contraception”? Think about how ridiculous that is. Even pro-abortion ER physicians insist that a post-rape victim take Plan B regardless of the pregnancy test, as he knows very well she may not show up as pregnant for one to two more weeks on those tests. The Journal Medical News Today (no friend to the pro-life movement) explains they “found that implantation occurred on days 8–10 after ovulation for 84% of participants” and that a pregnancy test “check[s] levels of the hormone HCG.” This does not happen until “implantation.” (Medical News Today erroneously names the object of this implantation as “an egg” whereas they know perfectly well it’s “a zygote.”) In any case, the point is that pregnancy tests can take up to two weeks to be positive, even in cases of rape.
For a pro-life ER physician, he knows that if a rape-victim be negative on a pregnancy test, the hospital system can still begin (but never truly finish) all the physical and psychological care following the horrendous trauma that comes in a sexual-assault. Why put her through that additional trauma of an abortion? Yes, many women who have been raped and then go through surgical abortions describe the latter trauma as a second rape. All Catholics know very well that these meds will kill a child’s body and mortally wound a woman’s soul, even though she was entirely innocent for the rape (and possibly even ignorant of the ER abortion meds, for many clinicians do not give women their “choices” in Emergency Departments. Underage girls rarely understand which meds they are taking in an ER, post-assault.)
Why then do the Louisiana bishops want to foist upon post-sexual-assault victims the additional trauma of an abortion-pill long before they have received results from an accurate pregnancy test? These bishops who stand in opposition to the death-penalty for rapists are now apparently in-favor of the death-penalty for the innocent children of rapists.
If I am wrong and Costanza does not speak for the the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops (LCCB) on these abortion-inducing drugs like Plan B entering in Catholic Emergency Departments in places like New Orleans and Baton Rouge, then I ask the bishops of Louisiana to correct this misunderstanding that is confusing so many pro-lifers right now. Please correct us as soon as possible, bishops of Louisiana, because even the Vatican website (at least here in 2000) explains the “morning-after pill” is an abortifacient.
But if it’s true—that is—if the Louisiana bishops are promoting the killing of the smallest unborn children in society, maybe it’s because they need their Catholic hospitals open for financial reasons. Or, perhaps because they know that even the Jesuit-run America magazine now writes of more evidence of the total-apostasy of Rome coming from the top-down in the Vatican on bioethical issues: “Birth control, IVF, euthanasia: The Vatican encouraged dialogue on polarizing life issues. Is a papal encyclical next?” The article then adds: “Were such a papal document forthcoming it would spark a wide-ranging reflection on the ethics of human life that could lead to a new and definitive papal teaching document on issues as polarizing as contraception, assisted procreation and palliative care.”
Of course, such a document would not be valid as most of my readers know by now. As many others have pointed out, there is currently a true-Church and a counterfeit-Church occupying nearly—but not exactly—the same spaces—even in Rome. The counterfeit-Church is not the place to shield your conscience in bioethics right now.