Rape and Plan B in Colorado: The Ethics of Not Informing
Colorado lawmakers sent governor Bill Owens a bill yesterday that would require Catholic hospitals to tell rape victims about emergency contraception (Plan B pills). House Bill 1042, requires all health care providers in the state to offer information and referrals on how to get pills that let rape victims avoid pregnancy. There is question whether the governor, who is Catholic, will veto, sign or allow the bill to become law in 10 days without his action.
Plan B pills generally do not work by causing an abortion but act by preventing fertilization or implantation of the fertilized ovum in the uterus.
The issue is whether rape victims who are not as yet pregnant should not be given by healthcare providers important information and referred to resources where the pills can be obtained because of religious doctrine against doing so. The ethics is whether the victim should be, in a way, further victimized (healthcare malificence) by becoming unwillingly pregnant. This behavior of the healthcare institution could put the patient in a state where she would be forced to accept the product of the pregnancy or have an abortion, the very act that the Catholic institution erroneously contended that the Plan B pills would accomplish. Are there any arguments by my visitors regarding the ethics of this controversy? ..Maurice.