It was a startling assertion that seemed an about-face from church doctrine: A Catholic hospital arguing in a Colorado court that twin fetuses that died in its care were not, under state law, human beings. [...]The argument, you may recall, was that, contrary to everything the Catholic Church has ever said about fetuses and life and the sacredness of sperm, et cetera, the deaths of Lori and Jeremy Stodghill's unborn twins didn't actually count because a fetus is not a person.
On Monday, the hospital and the state's bishops released a statement acknowledging it was "morally wrong" to make the legal argument.
The bishops in Colorado quickly announced that they would commence a full review to figure out how it was possible that attorneys for the Church-affiliated organization that runs the Church-affiliated St. Thomas More Hospital where Stodghill and her unborn fetuses died could have dared to make such an argument that is so clearly in contrast with the Ethical and Religious Directives of the Catholic Church, as set forth by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops—guidelines that include the claim that "[t]he Church's defense of life encompasses the unborn" and a mandate to uphold "the sanctity of life 'from the moment of conception until death.'"
Well, it appears the bishops have completed their review and have determined, shockingly, that oops! It was wrong to make the argument that a fetus is not a person, just to try to win a lawsuit. And of course they will never, ever make that argument again:
In their Monday statement, Denver Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila, Colorado Springs Bishop Michael Sheridan and Pueblo Bishop Fernando Isern said: "Catholic healthcare institutions are, and should, be held to the high standard of Jesus Christ himself."Gosh. They sure are sorry now. And they will never use that argument again, going forward, having successfully used the argument already just to try to win a lawsuit. Isn't that convenient?
They and CHI pledged not to argue against fetal personhood further in the case. They also said they and CHI sympathize with the Stodghill family.