In 2010, the Catholic church excommunicated a nun for authorizing an abortion at a Catholic hospital where she worked as an administrator. (The woman who received the abortion would have died without it, and was too ill to move to another hospital.) Excommunications are very rare; wikipedia lists about one per year. The article points out that not a single priest has been excommunicated for child abuse, although this is no longer true – the sole exception is an Argentinian priest who was excommunicated after being convicted of sexual abuse of five children.
While this incident ended well – the patient’s life was saved – other patients can be less fortunate and have their medical care in the hands of a doctor or administrator who makes decisions based on Catholic doctrine instead of medicine. This incident is part of a larger pattern of a growing fraction of Americans, particularly in rural regions, only having access to a Catholic hospital, and thus being subjected to the Catholic church’s regressive and immoral practices.
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