Church calls for donations for fined pro-life hospital
PR dla Zagranicy
The Archbishop of Lodz has called on parishioners to help cover a fine meted out to a hospital that turned away a woman who sought a legal abortion.
Archbishop Jedraszewski. Photo: wikipedia
In a statement published on the diocese's web site, Archbishop Marek Jedraszewski argued that the 70,000 zloty fine (16,900 euro) given to the Holy Family Hospital in Warsaw will jeopardise the situation of other patients.
“The penalty imposed on the Holy Family Hospital by the National Health Fund will clearly do harm to mothers who want to give birth to children in the hospital, because the sum [due to be paid] will reduce the amount of money spent on medication for mothers and their children,” the archbishop claimed.
The hospital, which is run by Professor Bogdan Chazan, refused a woman's request for an abortion in spite of the fact that the embryo revealed that the child would be brain-damaged.
Professor Chazan cited his right to invoke the 'clause of conscience' in Polish law. However, the hospital broke the law by not helping the woman to find another clinic which could carry out the surgery.
Archbishop Jedraszewski has stated however that “the actions of the authorities should prompt a strong protest,” and appealed for parishioners to make a donation if the fine is not revoked.
Nevertheless, speaking on the TVN24 channel, MP Stanislaw Zelichowski (Polish Peasants' Party) argued that the hospital's duty was to carry out the abortion.
“If you are a Jehovah's Witness, then you don't go into medicine, because you'll have to do a blood transfusion. If you are a pacifist, you don't go into the army, because you'll have to shoot.
“The professor has this kind of dilemma,” he said.
Poland's laws permit an abortion if a woman's life or health is jeopardised by the continuation of a pregnancy, if the pregnancy is a result of a criminal act such as rape, or if the foetus is seriously malformed. The abortion must be carried out in the first 25 weeks of the pregnancy.(nh)
Source: archidiecezja.lodz.pl, TVN