Thursday, December 23, 2010

AZRTL: St. Joseph's Loses Catholic Standing over Terminated Pregnancy

Arizona Right to Life

Arizona Right to LifeE-Lert

St. Joseph's Hospital Loses Catholic Status Over Terminated Pregnancy
Phoenix, AZ - December 21, 2010 - Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix, declared today that St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Centercan no longer be considered Catholic. The Bishop stated that the Hospital and Catholic Healthcare West, had failed to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Church.

The issue stems from an incident last year, where St. Joseph's Hospital elected to terminate the pregnancy of a seriously ill pregnant woman because they considered the pregnancy put the mother's life at risk. Hospital officials have stated that they terminated the pregnancy to save the mother's life.

Sister Margaret McBride, who sat on the hospital's ethics panel and allowed the abortion to take place, was excommunicated from the Catholic Church for her participation. Catholic Church doctrine considers that when the baby's life is specifically targeted for termination, such an act is considered an abortion. The Church does not consider it an abortion when anunborn child dies as an indirect result of any other medical efforts to assist the mother.

According to the Bishop, this abortion was not the only reason for his decision.  Recently, he had learned that for more than seven years CHW has committed numerous violations of the Catholic Church's Ethical and Religious Directives for Healthcare.

Arizona Right to Life acknowledges the difficulty of this decision and our hearts and prayers go out to the family who lost their child.  While we realize that this decision may be divisive, we praise and support the stance taken by Bishop Olmsted and the Catholic Church that promotes life and values the lives of both mother and child during the pregnancy.

Click Here to read Bishop Olmsted's Statement.
Arizona Right to Life is the state's oldest, largest and strongest pro-life organization, commited to Preserving, Protecting and Promoting the Sanctity of Life from conception to natural death.

Learn more about Arizona Right to Life by visitng www.
calling our office at 602-285-0063 or emailing  


No comments: