Tuesday, January 20, 2009

re: "Vatican issues new document on biotechnology" (NCRcafe.org, 12/12/08)

While I would take issue with various points of your analysis, it comes as a great surprise that the National Catholic Reporter is addressing one aspect of Dignitas Personae, which others seem to be avoiding. You report that Dignitas Personae "deals with emergency contraception in section 23, introducing a distinction between what it calls 'interceptive' methods, if they interfere with the embryo before implantation, and 'contragestative,' if they cause the elimination of the embryo after implantation....In either case, Dignitas Personae holds, these methods are illicit." Unlike the treatment of emergency so-called contraception in # 36 of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Ethical & Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Dignitas Personae offers NO guidelines for the supposed "moral" use of a potential interceptive or contragestative.

You go on to report that Richard "Doerflinger of the U.S. bishops' conference...does not believe this language means the practice of administering Plan B in Catholic hospitals is illicit....Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut, chair of the Committee on Doctrine and Pastoral Practices of the U.S. bishops' conference, agreed....Talking Points on Dignitas Personae prepared by the Catholic Health Association assert that current practice in Catholic hospitals will 'remain unchanged.' The CHA text says that 'Plan B, the medication of choice for emergency contraception, does not appear to have a post-fertilization effect, given the results of repeated scientific studies'" <http://ncrcafe.org/node/2327/print>.

There are only be two ways for CHAUSA's contention of no "post-fertilization effect" to be "true," & neither is acceptable:
  1. CHAUSA's staff is so incompetent, as to be unable to understand the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s Q and A on Plan B.
  2. CHAUSA's staff has embraced a Brave New World definition of "conception", which is NOT Catholic.

As per the FDA's Q and A on Plan B, "Plan B works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary (ovulation). It may prevent the union of sperm and egg (fertilization). If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb (implantation)" [emphasis added] . Clearly, Plan B is an "interceptive" and an abortifacient.

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Use of Emergency So-Called Contraceptives in Catholic Hospitals for Those Reporting Rape

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