Getting it right . . . the “morning after”

The National Catholic Bioethics Center just posted today the latest article by Fr. Tadeusz Pacholczyk in his popular “Making Sense Out of Bioethics” column.  Fr Tad’s article provides clarity and depth on the controversial “emergency contraception” issue. Of particular note, he says that Catholic hospitals may morally offer “Plan B” to rape victims if the following conditions are met:

(1) The woman is not already pregnant from prior, freely chosen sexual activity.
(2) The woman indeed has been sexually assaulted.
(3) The woman has not yet ovulated (i.e., has not released an egg from her ovary into the fallopian tube where it could be fertilized by the attacker’s sperm).
(4) The morning-after pill can reasonably be expected to prevent her from ovulating.

He goes on to say that “the new laws in Connecticut and Massachusetts which mandate the provision of the morning-after pill are clearly misguided and unethical. They effectively prohibit health care professionals from doing appropriate medical tests to determine whether a particular treatment (administering Plan B) is suitable and medically appropriate for a patient. These laws meddle in the affairs of doctors and nurses in emergency rooms, where their professional and competent medical judgments should not be short-circuited by overzealous state legislatures beholden to pro-abortion ideologies and agendas. Such state laws require health care professionals to cooperate in actions that may, in a foreseeable way, result in the death of very young human beings within their mother’s bodies. Unjust mandates of this kind forcibly violate the consciences of those health care providers who wish to use the art of medicine to heal rather than destroy.

“To provide the morning-after pill without considering a woman’s ovulatory state thus crosses an important moral line. . . .” 

Read the entire article here.

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