How does having to provide birth control justify shutting down hospitals?

I can respect that Catholics have their stance on birth control,even if I don’t agree with it. But when I hear somebody say “it would be a shame if we had to shut all of these hospitals down because of it,” I have to ask, how is that not insane? Are you honestly trying to tell me that having to dispense a few pills is worth not performing millions of miracles of modern medicine in the applicable facilities? I completely disagree with the political reasons why the hospitals should have to dispense birth control, but how is this an appropriate response? I mean, if its only a threat to get what they want with the politics, so be it. But does anybody actually condone shutting down a hospital over this?

There are times when Catholics are called to choose a “lesser evil”… We are FORBIDDEN to choose a “lesser sin”.

While I’m not Catholic, let me chime in on behalf of the Catholics.

I don’t know if you’ve looked into the issue, but it isn’t nearly as simple as your OP makes it appear.

First of all, it isn’t merely “dispensing a few pills”. It’s that the pills we’re talking about result in the death of a human being and, by dispensing them, Catholics believe (as do most of us Protestants) that this would make them complicit in that death.

The second problem is that it isn’t a matter of Catholics threatening to close hospitals to gain political leverage but that, by refusing to perform abortions or offer abortifacient forms of birth control, they could potentially lose the funding necessary to keep the hospital open.

This is just one reason I oppose any church or religious organization getting into bed with the government. But that’s just my opinion.

And as somebody that has no reason to equate the pill to murder, its very hard to compare the non-implantation of a few zygotes against all of the life-saving and pain-relieving that a hospital does. If the government is going to require it, then you really have 2 choices: either dispense the pills, to people that would get them elsewhere anyway, and save thousands of lives a year, or send that person to the pharmacy down the street and not save thousands of lives a year. Look, I once again think its insane for the government to do this, and that is completely unfair to Catholics, but I just don’t understand the response.

Which I agree would be completely unfair.

I hear you. If only government wasn’t getting into bed with healthcare, and this wasn’t even an issue…

Well last time I checked, isn’t it the person who pops the pill that would be the “murderer?” Where exactly is the sin other than theirs?

Again, we’re not talking about the “non-implantation of a few zygotes”. We’re talking about abortion and abortifacient contraception.

If the government is going to require it, then you really have 2 choices: either dispense the pills, to people that would get them elsewhere anyway, and save thousands of lives a year

Except that they don’t “save thousands of lives a year”. And even if they did, why would the thousands of lives they save be more worthy of life than the hundreds of thousands of lives they take?

I just don’t understand the response.

And I don’t understand your inability to understand. Once again, by dispensing abortifacient contraception, the hospital would be complicit in the killing of the babies killed by that abortifacient.

I hear you. If only government wasn’t getting into bed with healthcare, and this wasn’t even an issue…

I agree, but that’s another subject for another time.

Well last time I checked, isn’t it the person who pops the pill that would be the “murderer?” Where exactly is the sin other than theirs?

If I have a car that I know is unsafe to drive and I sell it it to your daughter and she gets into a crash and dies as a result of the condition of the unsafe care I sold her, am I morally responsible in her death?

It’s not that the Church is saying (in a childish voice) “Oh yeah, well we’ll just shut down a hospital. That’ll show 'em!” Nobody wants hospitals to close. The Church is simply saying that it will not violate its deep-seated belief that all embryos and zygotes are sacred human life by dispensing medicines that will take that life away. It’s the government that is threatening the hospitals.

I think a better analogy would be:

If I sell a gun to your daughter, and she goes and shoots somebody with it, am I morally responsible for that person’s death?

I fully appreciate that, and I don’t think the church is being a baby about it. I think they are up against extreme oppression. I am just trying to understand, from an outside perspective, how this would actually be a better choice in the face of that oppression. It certainly would be in the minds of Catholics and the Church, but its certainly backwards to anybody outside of the “murder at conception” camp, especially if they would have gone to that hospital after a car crash.

Here’s the reason: The Catholic Church started hospitals centuries ago. Why? Because it has always been part of the ministry of the Church to help the sick and the poor. The Church looks at its hospitals as a ministry which it is. In former times, the nuns ran the hospitals and also did the duties of nurses. Today, we don’t see as many nuns doing this and tend to think that all hospitals were started by the government or by doctors, etc.


We may never do evil, period.

Catholic hospitals cannot violate God’s law.

I think an even better analogy is if you sell this gun to her, well aware of her intent to use it unjustly. Would you be morally responsible in this case? I think so.

Our Church teaches that to promote and to enable sin is also a sin.

The person who hands out the pill, if they know better, is as culpable as the person who takes the pill. It’s just like bank robbery - the guy who drives the getaway car is just as guilty.

There are levels of removal which may reduce culpability. The guy who sweeps the floors may not be as culpable as the guy who hands out the pill, but certainly the one in charge of the hospital, if he knows this is going on and has authority to stop it, will be held accountable for it when he stands before God in Judgement.

That is our belief.


The simple fact is that we can’t do something evil in order that something good may happen. Using contraception or providing contraceptives to people is a sin, and no amount of good intentions can justify it. It’s just like the old saying goes: the end doesn’t justify the means.

How “The Pill” works as an Abortifacient

Do your research before acting like a complete ***. You get me? :mad:

Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do

I’ll use a different group rather than the unborn lets replace it with people with blue eyes

If the government says to a Catholic hospital “give pills to everyone that comes in that ends the life of all people with blue eyes or receive no money and no accreditation”

Would you think the hospital should stand by their convictions and not dispense those pills and lose the money and accreditation and shut down for the sake of the people who happen to have blue eyes or should they capitulate and say well we can save so many other people and it’s better for every blue eyed person to die than for every person to suffer?

This is why I actually condone a Catholic hospital shutting themselves down because what they are essentially saying is “We will stand up for what is true and right. In spite of how much we hate to see others suffer in spite of the fact we are an institution dedicated to healing we can not in good conscience permit the ending of one life for the continuation of other lives”

The Catholic church and the institutions set up following the moral and ethical teachings of the church can not and will not do this because of the intrinsic value of every unique human life. It is never ok to directly or indirectly support or facilitate the ending of innocent life whether in the womb or out of it.

It is really not up to the hospitals, the Bishops or even the Vatican.
Dispensing bith control would be an intrinsic evil, the church would have no choice but to refuse, despite the good that hospital may be doing.

That is the reason President Thomas Jefferson passed the law of Separation of Church and State. It wasn’t to keep the Church out of the goverment. It was to keep the goverment out of the Church!

That definately is a violation. Vote out ANYONE who supports it!:tsktsk:

Got it. And I think there is nothing left for me to try to understand about your stance. The principle reason why I can’t see it is because I don’t think murder begins at conception. But why I think that is a different debate.

I guess at least we both agree its **** that this is even a possibility.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit