Bioethics of Abortion

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Bishop Thomas Olmsted stripped all Catholic affiliation from St. Joseph’s Hospital due to an abortion performed at the hospital in November of 2009. The abortion was performed 11 weeks into the pregnancy because doctors believed that if the pregnancy were to continue, the mother would die. Bishop Olmsted said that he made his decision based on his interpretation of a directive by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that prohibited the “direct” taking of a human life by an abortion. He said the life of the fetus had been “directly” taken in this instance. Bishop Olmsted also said, "No one has the right to directly kill an innocent life, no matter what stage of their existence. It is not better that the mother live the rest of her existence having had her child killed."

Bishop Olmsted was correct with his decision because abortion is against the teachings of the Catholic Church. A hospital should not be able to say that it is Catholic if it does not follow and endorse Catholic teachings.

The Catholic Church is correct by opposing abortion for many reasons. Abortion is the intentional removal of a fetus from the uterus. There are many types of abortions. Many of the types are very violent. For instance, in one type of abortion, the abortionist cuts the baby into small pieces and sucks them out of the womb. This can be very painful for both the baby and the mother. Often, a lot of bleeding occurs.

Another reason abortion is wrong is that it can have long term effects on the mother. Studies have shown that 10% of women who underwent an induced abortion have suffered from immediate complications, and one-fifth of the 10% were major complications. There are many complications that could occur after an induced abortion. Some of these are minor infections, bleeding, fevers, chronic abdominal pain, gastro-intestinal disturbances, vomiting, and Rh sensitization. These are considered “minor” effects. The “major” effects include infection, excessive bleeding,...
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