Friday, January 25, 2013

U.S. Catholic bishops review lawsuit saying fetuses not people

This story has been all over social media.

Supporters of legal abortion have accused the Catholic Church of hypocrisy, as if the actions of a hospital constitute those of the Catholic Church.

There are so-called Catholic hospitals who act in ways contrary to the faith.

This is not shocking to anyone familiar with Catholic healthcare.

Of course, it`s a legal truth that fetuses are not legal persons.

Since when do litigants have to abide by the conscience of the legal system? People routinely argue things they know aren't true in real life, but would pass muster in a court of law.

For instance, lots of people plead "not guilty" when they know that they are guilty as sin.

How can you be "not guilty" when you know you committed the crime?

Because a prosecution is based on legal evidence and legal truths. Maybe you did commit the crime, but the evidence won't show that to be true, so technically you're innocent, even if you know that you're not.

That being said, I think arguing that a fetus is not a person was probably not a good idea, if only because it could reinforce the jurisprudence denying their personhood.

So what happens if this case makes it to a higher court and the court rules a fetus is not a person?

That's a fail for the pro-life movement, which the Catholic Hospital is supposed to support.