A Catholic hospital in Colorado has vowed to no longer argue against the personhood of fetuses in a wrongful-death lawsuit that could be reviewed by the state’s Supreme Court.
Catholic Health Initiatives said Monday it was “morally wrong” for its attorneys to cite the state’s Wrongful Death Act, which defined a “person” as only individuals born alive. The hospital chain faced accusations of hypocrisy last month after successfully defending itself with a legal argument that directly contradicted the teachings of the Catholic Church.
The case involved the death of a pregnant woman along with her pair of twins in utero at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, which is operated by CHI. Her husband later filed a lawsuit against the hospital and doctors.
“This case is now being considered for review by the Colorado Supreme Court,” the hospital chain said in a statement. “CHI has agreed that attorneys for St. Thomas More Hospital will not cite the Wrongful Death Act, which does not allow fetuses to sue, in any future legal hearings of this case. Although the argument was legally correct, recourse to an unjust law was morally wrong.”
Catholic leaders in Colorado have rejected so-called “fetal personhood” amendments that would define “person” as any human being from the moment of conception. But they have supported other anti-abortion legislation, including a proposal to make the killing of a fetus a crime.
“Each human life is a sacred gift, created as a unique and unrepeatable expression of God’s love,” the Archdiocese of Denver said Monday in statement. “Life is given by God, and the right to life is a fundamental good, without which no other rights can be enjoyed. Because life is endowed with dignity from the moment of conception to the time of natural death, just societies should create laws that comprehensively protect it.”
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