Catholic Hospital in Battle Over Contraceptives

SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, Sept. 23—The takeover of a secular hospital in Gilroy, Calif., by Catholic Healthcare West has sparked a debate over the new owners’ refusal to perform tubal ligations or abortions, or distribute contraceptives, the California daily reported.

Wade Rose, Catholic Health Care West's vice president, told the paper his corporation will stick to the teachings contained in the statement of Religious and Ethical Directives adhered to by every Catholic hospital in America. This document outlines the Catholic moral teaching regarding the sanctity of life and natural means of reproduction.

Rose said critics of Catholic Health Care West are employing scare tactics to win public approval for their policies. He told the paper that only about 50 tubal ligations and fewer than 10 elective abortions were performed at the Gilroy hospital last year.

The Dangers of Underpopulation

MSNBC, Sept. 6—Noting that no major industrialized country in the world has a fertility rate above the replacement rate of 2.1 children per family, syndicated columnist Ben Wattenberg of the American Enterprise Institute warned of unexpected consequences.

“I don't believe we will run out of people, but you are going to see a stark decline in population in Europe and this isn't something the world has been through,” Wattenberg told the online news service.

“My own guess is if we start losing population it opens up a lot of troubling situations. One is economic — what happens to an economy based on growth in such a situation?”

Fewer babies being born and increasing life expectancies will give rise to what Wattenberg called the “grayby boom.” He said that by having fewer children we are eroding the population base of its “worker bees,” leaving no one to pay for pensions.

The rate of global population growth has been slowing since the 1960s, when birth rates began to decline around the world due to changing cultural and economic factors, including urbanization and the proliferation of birth control.

Texas Senate Passes New Adoption Legislation

TEXAS CATHOLIC, Sept. 17—A new Texas law allows mothers to anonymously leave babies less than 30 days old in the care of designated agencies without fear of prosecution, the Dallas Diocesan paper reported.

Designed by Dr. John Richardson, a Fort Worth pediatrician, the Abandoned Baby Bill is expected to deter mothers from aborting their babies because of the lifestyle change that would result from their birth, said the paper.

The bill is believed to be the first such legislation in the nation. The new law amends Texas’ Family Code, allowing licensed emergency medical service providers to take possession of a child, without court order, when the parent voluntarily delivers the child to the agency and expresses no intent to return for the child.

Dr. Richardson is quoted saying he came up with the idea after reading an article on Abandoned Babies in the publication National Adoption Report. “When I read that article,” Richardson said, “I though ‘what are we doing for these babies?’”