KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Catholic Hospital Says Its Argument On Fetuses Was ‘Morally Wrong’

A Catholic hospital is backtracking on its claim in court that two fetuses that died under its care were not human beings -- saying now that that argument was "morally wrong."

CNN: Catholic Hospital Says It Was 'Morally Wrong' To Argue Fetus Is Not A Person
A Catholic hospital in hot water for claiming in a Colorado court that a fetus is not a person backtracked on Monday, saying it was "morally wrong" to make the argument while defending itself in a wrongful death lawsuit. The flip-flop concerns the case of Lori Stodghill. She was 28 weeks pregnant with twins when she went to the emergency room of St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado, vomiting and short of breath. She went into cardiac arrest in the lobby and died. That was New Year's Day 2006 (2/5).

The Associated Press: By Arguing Fetuses Are Not Legally Persons, Catholic Hospital Wades Into Charged Debate
It was a startling assertion that seemed an about-face from church doctrine: A Catholic hospital arguing in a Colorado court that twin fetuses that died in its care were not, under state law, human beings. When the two-year-old court filing surfaced last month, it triggered an avalanche of criticism -- because the legal argument seemed to plainly clash with the church's centuries-old stance that life begins at conception (Riccardi, 2/4).

Elsewhere, Arkansas lawmakers approved an abortion restrictions bill--

The Associated Press: Arkansas House OKs Abortion Restrictions
The Arkansas House voted Monday to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest, sending the proposal to a state Senate that approved more stringent restrictions last week. The House also voted to block insurers from covering abortions if they participate in the online marketplace created under the federal health care overhaul (DeMillo, 2/4).

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