The Connecticut legislature is considering a bill by Representative Deborah Heinrich that would force Catholic hospitals to violate the teachings of the Catholic Church by providing emergency contraception to all rape victims, independent of whether ovulation has begun.
The following letter was sent by league president Bill Donohue today to all members of the Human Services Committee:
As president of the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization, I urge you to veto any legislation that would compromise the right of Catholic hospitals to refrain from providing abortion services. To be explicit, the emergency contraception pill may act as an abortifacient — not a contraceptive — depending on whether the woman has begun ovulation. In those instances, it would be totally immoral for Catholic hospitals to cooperate in the termination of innocent human life. If it has been determined that ovulation has not taken place, then Catholic hospitals are free to prescribe Plan B.
It would be one thing if Catholic hospitals were deliberately seeking a confrontation over this issue. But, on the contrary, doctors at Catholic hospitals currently provide rape victims with a list of places where they can receive Plan B, and even provide free transportation. Therefore, it is not Catholic hospitals which are remaining obstinate — it is those lawmakers who seek to impose their will on these institutions.
I respectfully urge you not to jeopardize the religious-liberty prerogatives of Catholic hospitals.