Bishop Rules out Post-Rape Pills in Peoria: Fear of Abortion Cited

By Edwards, Robin T. | National Catholic Reporter, March 11, 1994 | Go to article overview

Bishop Rules out Post-Rape Pills in Peoria: Fear of Abortion Cited


Edwards, Robin T., National Catholic Reporter


Fear of abortion cited, while its critics claim rule punishes victims

A Catholic hospital in Illinois is currently revising its protocol for treating rape victims, following a directive from Peoria Bishop John Myers banning the use of "morning after" pills.

Myers told the eight Catholic hospitals in his diocese that the two drugs, Estinyl and Ovral, could no longer be used because, he said, they have potential abortifacient capabilities. St. Francis Medical Center, the second-largest medical facility in the state, is the only Catholic hospital in Peoria that uses the drugs.

The fear is that the rape victim may have already been impregnated and that the drugs would not act as contraceptives but would terminate the life of a developing embryo.

"Our issue is with certain kinds of hormonal treatments which prevent ... the fertilized egg from attaching to the uterine wall," Myers said. "We believe profoundly that any medical procedure (which leads to abortion) is incorrect." St. Francis will continue to use these drugs until it can develop a new procedure, which is expected in the next couple of weeks, said Chris Lofgren, the hospital spokesman. As the only Level I trauma center in the area, St. Francis treats a majority of the rape victims locally.

The hospitals were informed of the bishop's directive last November. St. Francis was given until last month to adopt a new policy - a deadline the hospital did not meet.

Lofgren said St. Francis is faced with the complex task of "trying to balance" what's in the best interests of patient care with what's being mandated by the bishop.

The bishop of each diocese has the final authority to set such policies, Lofgren said, adding that St. Francis hospital supports the Myers decision. "We don't apologize for being Catholic," he said.

Meanwhile, Myers' directive has prompted many adverse letters to the editor in the local daily newspaper. Many complain that the new policy is "victimizing the victim," who, they say, should have every option available.

"It's a horrendous decision," Joyce Harant, executive director of Planned Parenthood in Peoria, told NCR. "I think the state of Illinois should consider whether an emergency room can do this."

Linda Woods, director of InnerStrength, Peoria's Center for Prevention of Abuse sexual-assault department, said that a majority of the rape victims in the past have opted to take advantage of these drugs. "We are now exploring other ways the medication can be made available to them," she noted.

Last year, the hospital, which serves a 17-county area, treated 58 rape victims.

The ovulation factor

Determining whether a rape victim is ovulating or not seems a key factor in the ongoing discussions. "It is now just guesstimate," said Msgr. Steven Rohlfs, a moral theologian who spearheaded the diocese's two-year study examining the use of these two drugs.

He said St. Francis is trying to develop a procedure to determine more precisely whether a woman is in the preovulatory stage.

The customary practice of asking the victim about her menstrual history is scientifically inappropriate and completely unreliable, according to Dr. Eugene Diamond, clinical professor of pediatrics at Loyola University School of Medicine in Chicago.

As part of the two-year study, Diamond prepared a questionnaire asking medical experts nationwide to give their opinion on how Estinyl and Ovral work. He said 19 out of 20 experts concurred that these drugs - given to rape victims in the standard two doses - do not suppress ovulation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bishop Rules out Post-Rape Pills in Peoria: Fear of Abortion Cited
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.