A joint statement on proposed emergency contraception legislation
By Archbishop Charles J. Chaput

Many Catholics around Colorado have asked us for more clarity about the Church's view of state Senate Bill 07-060. If passed, SB 07-060 will govern the distribution of information on emergency contraception to rape victims.


Under normal conditions, Catholic teaching views contraception as a distortion of the purpose of human sexuality, and therefore seriously wrong. In the case of rape, however, emergency contraception is morally acceptable for women as an act of self-defense. Catholic hospitals already provide emergency contraception to rape victims in a morally sound way as part of their medical care, and have done so for years.


The problem with "emergency contraception" comes in two forms.


First, contraception means literally "against conception." Human life begins at conception. This is a biological fact. Preventing the conception of a new life is very different from killing it once life begins. Procedures that destroy a human embryo after conception but before implantation in the uterus are not "emergency contraception." They amount to a very early stage abortion, an act which Catholics and Catholic institutions regard as gravely wrong and therefore cannot support.


Second, religiously affiliated medical institutions should not be coerced into violating their principles by being forced to provide services that clash fundamentally with their beliefs.


As it currently stands, SB 07-060 is not "good" legislation. We applaud the act's conscience clause for individual medical professionals -- but we also strongly urge state legislators to consider including a similar conscience clause for institutions as a matter of justice.


Unlike similar proposed legislation in the past, SB 07-060 gives some flexibility to institutions in meeting the requirements of the law, thereby allowing Catholic medical facilities to cooperate without violating their Catholic character. Therefore, while we do not regard this legislation as ideal, we do believe that Catholics can accept and work with it in good conscience.


+Most Reverend Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Archbishop of Denver


+Most Reverend Arthur N. Tafoya, D.D

Bishop of Pueblo


+Most Reverend Michael J. Sheridan, S.T.D.

Bishop of Colorado Springs


Printed with permission from the Archdiocese of Denver.

Ads by Google
(What's this?)


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea

Liturgical Calendar

December 21, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27


Daily Readings

Gospel:: Lk 1: 26-38

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Text only

Follow us: