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

Who will win China's war on women? 33 million more men than women in China Watch

Image of China has the largest disparity between men and women; there are 33 million more men than women in China.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China's ongoing issue with a growing population and a disparity in the numbers between each gender is only getting worse; as 2014 there were 33 million more men in China than women. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - China's longstanding family restrictions and ... continue reading


India turns on Christians; 2014's wave of religious terror leaves many fearing state-sponsored persecution to come Watch

Image of 2014 saw a wave of violence in India as Hindu nationalists targeted Christians. Five people died and thousands were subjected to violence.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Last year was not a great year for Christianity. Persecution and murder were rampant in the Middle East-especially in Syria and Iraq-throughout Africa and even India. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2014, India saw a wave of violence towards Christians that ... continue reading


Death of the red dragon? Why China's economic boom is about to bust Watch

Image of One of China's many ghost towns. Built at the height of a massive real estate boom, many Chinese cities and suburbs now lay empty.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Long the boogie man of the United States and the west, China's economic growth has slammed to a halt, hitting its slowest rate since 1990. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The U.S. needn't be afraid of the lurking threat of Chinese economic hegemony, as the Asian ... continue reading


How did President Obama know North Korea was behind the Sony hack? Because we hacked them first! Watch

Image of Access to the Internet is highly limited in North Korea, and only a select few individuals of high rank in the Communist party may access it unfiltered and restricted.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many Internet security experts and firms were quick to question President Barack Obama's claim that North Korea was behind the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in December of 2014, especially so soon after the hacks took place. But the New York Times has ... continue reading


Barbarically appalling death penalty executions revived in Indonesia, starting with two female drug smugglers Watch

Image of Hurting from drug use, Indonesia begins executing death row drug smugglers.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Six drug smugglers were shot dead by firing squads in Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest drug market. 40 to 50 people die each day from drugs in Indonesia, according to the National Anti-Narcotic Agency. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Trying to protect the people ... continue reading


In Manilla, Pope Francis condemns mankind for destroying the environment Watch

Image of Pope Francis wore a rain poncho during much of his time in Manila, and left early to avoid an incoming tropic storm.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There's a new voice speaking out on climate change, as Pope Francis entered the ring, calling on mankind to fulfill the charge they were given by God to steward the world and all of creation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis made his remarks at a ... continue reading


Spread the Reign of Christ Throughout the World! Pope Francis Tells Crowd of 7 Million in the Philippines Watch

Image of May the Santo Nino (Holy Child Jesus) continue to bless the Philippines and may he sustain the Christians of this great nation in their vocation to be witnesses and missionaries of the joy of the Gospel, in Asia and in the whole world.- Pope Francis

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Sometimes, when we see the troubles, difficulties and wrongs all around us, we are tempted to give up. It seems that the promises of the Gospel do not apply; they are unreal. But the Bible tells us that the great threat to God's plan for us is, and always has ... continue reading


Jesus is Lord! He Never Lets Us Down! Evangelical Catholic Pope Francis Speaks to Faithful in Taclobban, Philippines Watch

Image of Pope Francis preaches the Good News in Tacloban, Philippines.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I've come to tell you that Jesus is Lord, and he never lets us down. Jesus is there, nailed to the cross, and from there he does not let us down. He was consecrated as Lord on that throne and there he experienced all the calamities that we experience. The Lord ... continue reading


Abducted for 24 years! This Chinese family is reunited at last Watch

Image of Sun Bin, reunited with his father Sun Youhong for the first time in 24 years.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Chinese man who was abducted as a toddler back in 1991 has been reunited with his father after 24 years. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sun Bin was taken from his father at a market when he was just four-years-old. He was sold to a family in Jiangsu province on ... continue reading


LOCKED UP, STARVED AND ABUSED: Innocent street children are caged up like dogs in preparation for Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines Watch

Image of There are 17 detention centers across the city, where an estimated 20,000 children a year are detained and sometimes kept for months, according to Daily Mail.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Filipino children are being 'rescued' from the streets only to be forced into cold, cemented, jail cells. With Pope Francis' visit to the Philippines happening this week, police have started to round up homeless orphans in an effort to make the poverty-stricken city ... 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, Hebrews 9:15, 24-28
15 This makes him the mediator of a new covenant, so ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:22-30
22 The scribes who had come down from Jerusalem were ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 26th, 2015 Image

St. Timothy
January 26: Born at Lystra, Lycaenia, Timothy was the son of a Greek father ... 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