Catholic Nurses in India Facing Intense Pressure to Assist in Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 18, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Catholic Nurses in India Facing Intense Pressure to Assist in Abortions Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 18, 2006

Bangalore, India ( — Catholic nurses in India are increasingly facing pressure to assist in abortions, but they found strength in numbers at a recent conference and hope to fight against the pressure.

Some 1,400 nurses gathered for the first time at a convention with the theme, "Called to be His Healing Hands." The three day meeting earlier this week concluded with nurses saying they will do more to resist assisting abortions.

Siji K. Mathew, the coordinator of Jesus Youth, a Catholic movement that promotes a Christian lifestyle for younger adults, said some hospital nurses are essentially forced into helping do abortions.

"Some of us had to resign our jobs when we were pressured by the management to assist in abortion procedures," Mathew told UCA News, emphasizing the need for "spiritual strength" to withstand such pressure.

He said the convention was a huge help to nurses wanting to take a "strong pro-life stand" in the face of pro-abortion pressure.

At the convention, the nurses prayed together for unborn children who face death from an abortion, asking God to "spare the life of the unborn baby that I have spiritually adopted and who is in danger of being aborted."

The nurses also resolved to help counsel couples to seek abortion alternatives like adoption or keeping their baby.

Retired Archbishop Ignatius Paul Pinto, previous archbishop of Bangalore, was one of the speakers, according to UCA News and told those attending the conference that they will be helped by viewing their jobs not as a career but a mission field.

Each nurse has to be "an evangelizer and missionary," he said.

Reena Rodrigues, a delegate from the western city of Mumbai, told UCA News that the conference helped her "never to get involved in any activity that destroys life."

Shinto Chacko, a male nurse, agreed and said, "It is a life-giving profession and not a life-taking profession."