Connecticut Bill Would Force Catholic Hospitals to Give Morning After Pill

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 7, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Connecticut Bill Would Force Catholic Hospitals to Give Morning After Pill Email this article
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by Maria Vitale Staff Writer
March 7, 2006

Hartford, CT ( — Catholic hospitals would be required to provide the morning-after pill to rape victims — even though it conflicts with their religious beliefs — under a bill being considered by the Connecticut legislature.

The communications director for the archdiocese of Hartford, the Rev. John Gatzak, told the Yale Daily News, “The fundamental reason why the church does not dispense Plan B (the morning-after pill) is that it is an abortifacient and to do so would be immoral, according to the religious understanding of the Catholic Church.”

The four Catholic hospitals in Connecticut oppose the bill.

Meanwhile, current Connecticut Gov. Jodi Rell, who supports legal abortion, says she favors the current law, which permits hospitals not to dispense the morning-after pill for religious reasons but requires that they refer women who seek it to other hospitals. However, her spokesperson said Rell, a Republican, would be willing to consider the new legislation if it passes.

Gubernatorial candidate John DeStefano, the mayor of New Haven, supports the morning-after pill requirement for Catholic hospitals. The bill also has the support of the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services Inc, which says that rape victims should not have to transfer hospitals in order to obtain the morning-after pill.

In order to win passage, the bill would have to be voted out of the Public Health Committee by March 20 and enacted by both houses of the legislature by May 3, the end of the current legislative session.

Members of Connecticut Right to Life rallied in Waterbury outside Saint Mary’s Hospital recently to oppose the legislation. Protesters say that the issue revolves around religious freedom.

Connecticut Right to Life President Bill O’Brien told a television station, “These people that are putting this kind of legislation forward, they are spitting on the graves of the people that died and gave their lives for freedom of religion in this country…They are just trying to change this country into something that I don’t recognize at all.”

Related web sites:
Connecticut Right to Life –