Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Kathleen Gilbert

9/22/2008 (6 years ago)

LifeSiteNews (www.lifesitenews.com)

"In the worst-case scenario, if a government is determined to enforce such laws, we have no option. We might get out of hospitals altogether," Archbishop Hart told The Age.

Highlights

By Kathleen Gilbert

LifeSiteNews (www.lifesitenews.com)

9/22/2008 (6 years ago)

Published in Asia Pacific


MELBOURNE, (LifeSiteNews.com) - Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart has warned that, in the event that a new bill passes the Victoria Parliament requiring that all medical personnel either perform abortions or give abortion referrals, all Catholic hospital maternity and emergency departments could close, lest Catholic doctors and nurses be forced to go against Catholic teaching and their consiences and kill unborn children.

"In the worst-case scenario, if a government is determined to enforce such laws, we have no option. We might get out of hospitals altogether," Archbishop Hart told The Age.This would pose a serious problem for the local medical community, since, according to The Age, Victoria hospitals are already straining to provide services. Currently fifteen Catholic hospitals accommodate one third of Victoria's births.

According to Archbishop Hart, the new regulations imposed by the Victorian Abortion Reform Bill necessitate nothing less than drastic action from the Catholic community. "Catholic hospitals cannot be part of any abortion. That has to be respected in the community. Even providing a referral is a co-operation in evil, and that impacts very strongly on us as Catholics," said the Archbishop.

"It makes a mockery of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and the Equal Opportunity Act in that it requires health professionals with a conscientious objection to abortion to refer patients seeking an abortion to other health professionals who do not have such objections.

"It also requires health professionals with a conscientious objection to abortion to perform an abortion in whatever is deemed an emergency," he added.Currently abortions in Victoria are governed by the 1969 Menhennitt Supreme Court ruling, which allows abortion in case of a threat to the mother's health. Hence, while abortion in practice is performed on demand in the state, it technically remains illegal.

Though some claim that the new bill only codifies current clinical practice, Archbishop Hart says this is false, arguing that the bill involves much more than simply decriminalizing abortion. Hart lamented that certain "draconian" clauses coerce and suppress the religious rights of doctors to an unprecedented degree, a move that he fears other Australian states will soon follow.

Archbishop Hart has written to Members of the Legislative Council urging them to reject the measure for violating citizens' rights to hold and exercise their basic religious beliefs. He has also issued a pastoral letter calling upon the faithful to join in a "day of intercession" on October 5 to defeat the bill both through prayer and public petition.

In the letter, the Archbishop warns that while on its surface the bill simply removes abortion from the Crimes Act, it will cause citizens to confuse what is "legal" with what is "right," and since "the Law is a great educator" many will begin to accept the grave evil of abortion.

The letter also lists the "particularly disturbing" qualities of the Bill, such as the fact that it would compel pharmacists and nurses to administer doctor-ordered abortifacients. The Archbishop considers the Bill flawed "as much by what it omits as by what it contains," since there are no provisions to ensure informed consent, to protect women from underqualified doctors, or to ban gruesome partial-birth abortions.

"As one commentator has put it, it is an insidious irony that this coercion of conscience is being carried out in the name of choice," writes the Archbishop. "Parliamentarians are being afforded the opportunity to exercise their consciences to remove the right of health professionals to exercise theirs."

The Abortion Law Reform Bill has already been passed in the lower house, and is due to be debated in Victoria's Legislative Council on October 7.


---

LifeSiteNews.com is a non-profit Internet service dedicated to issues of culture, life, and family. It was launched in September 1997. LifeSiteNews Daily News reports and information pages are used by numerous organizations and publications, educators, professionals and political, religious and life and family organization leaders and grassroots people across North America and internationally.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Rare conjoined twins born in Indonesia with attached chest, abdomen - and heart Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Conjoined twin girls in Indonesia have been born with a very rare genetic condition. Both girls share a chest, abdomen - and a heart. Photos have been circulated showing the babies in a hospital bed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Soetomo Hospital in ... continue reading


Isolation, depression hounds tuberculosis patients as virulently as the disease Watch

Image of Doctors at St. Stephen's Hospital, which gets funding from the charity United Way Worldwide, say the mental health home care program is effective and should be in the national TB program.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

When Indian street-food seller Kumar Pal first began treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis two years ago, he quickly spiraled into depression and gave up hope of living. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Weighing just 77 pounds, shunned by his ... continue reading


TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY: 600 high school students expelled for cheating in Eastern India Watch

Image of The people tried to reach the windows of the classrooms where the students were taking their exams.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In its attempts to become a world leader and an economic powerhouse, the nation of India is taking those who take academic shortcuts, by cheating in school, extremely harshly. More than six hundred students were expelled in eastern India. Pictures of friends ... continue reading


Lawyer for doctor who helped track down Osama bin Laden ASSASSINATED Watch

Image of Senior police officer Shakir Khan said unidentified assailants shot and killed Samiullah Khan Afridi (pictured) this morning in the northwestern city of Peshawar before fleeing the scene.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An important link in the take down of al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden has been ruthlessly gunned down in retaliation. Attorney Samiullah Khan Afridi, murdered by suspected Taliban gunmen was the legal representative for Dr. Shakil Afridi. The doctor provided ... continue reading


VIDEO BLOCKED: Islamic State video shows Indonesian children training with weapons Watch

Image of Yet another horrible Islamic State video, this one intended to recruit followers in Indonesia depicts Indonesian children, all younger than 15 years of age, training with weapons.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Yet another horrible Islamic State video, this one intended to recruit followers in Indonesia, depicts Indonesian children, all younger than 15 years of age, training with weapons. Produced by Alazzam Media, which claims to be the Malay language media division ... continue reading


Pakistani Prime Minister denounced for failing to protect Christians, religious minorities Watch

Image of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is accused of failing to act on a Supreme Court order, issued last year, to provide security at all places of worship.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pakistan's Prime Minister must take partial blame for the deadly attacks on Christian churchgoers in Lahore this past weekend. Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Kararchi, leader of the country's Catholics, says that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif failed to act ... continue reading


Did researchers find 'yeti' hair samples? Or is it something completely different? Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to new research from the journal ZooKeys, the so-called "yeti" hair samples as determined by a prior research, were only from brown bears. In the study's abstract, the researchers stated that they have no reason to conclude the samples came from any other ... continue reading


PAKISTAN'S WORST CHRISTIAN MASSACRE YET: 15 people killed, dozens injured in Lahore church bombings Watch

Image of Area hospitals filled with casualties and scenes of mourning.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pakistan's worst attack on its Christian religious minority occurred this past weekend when two churches in Lahore were targeted by suicide bombers. Fifteen people were killed in all, and at least 70 other people suffered injuries. According to Pakistan Taliban ... continue reading


SHAME OF A NATION: Elderly nun gang-raped by six men in West Bengal Watch

Image of The attack comes at a time of growing awareness about sexual violence against women. There has been increased media reporting of rapes and assaults.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Authorities in eastern India are continuing their search for six men wanted in connection with the gang rape of a 74-year-old nun in West Bengal. Witnesses say the men ransacked the convent school in Ranaghat this past weekend. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


How a single moist towelette on the beach has renewed speculation over the disappearance of Flight MH370 Watch

Image of The discovery of a moist towelette on an Australian beach has many speculating on the disappearance of MH370.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Various media outlets are breaking the news that a single piece of evidence, possibly linked to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, was discovered on an Australian beach last July. The find is a tiny clue in a vast mystery. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 20:10-13
10 I heard so many disparaging me, 'Terror on every ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 18:2-3, 3-4, 5-6, 7
2 Yahweh is my rock and my fortress, my deliverer is ... Read More

Gospel, John 10:31-42
31 The Jews fetched stones to stone him,32 ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 27th, 2015 Image

St. Rupert
March 27: Bishop and missionary, also listed as Robert of Hrodbert. A ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter