Phoenix, Ariz., May 18, 2010 / 19:06 pm
A religious sister who was on a Catholic hospital panel that approved a direct abortion has excommunicated herself, the Diocese of Phoenix said on Tuesday. According to the diocese, Sr. Margaret McBride told Bishop Olmsted that she believed performing an abortion in a specific case from 2009 "was a morally good and allowable act according to Church teaching."
The abortion took place late last year at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. The mother was 11 weeks pregnant and was seriously ill with pulmonary hypertension, a condition worsened and possibly made fatal by pregnancy, according to the Washington Post.
An ethics committee which included doctors and hospital administrator Sr. Margaret McBride ruled that the abortion was necessary. Sr. McBride has been reassigned from her job as vice president of mission integration at the hospital.
In a Tuesday “Questions & Answers” document, the Diocese of Phoenix’s Office of Communications explained that Sr. McBride “held a position of authority at the hospital and was frequently consulted on ethical matters.”