A proposed law before the New Hampshire House of Representatives would force Catholic and other pro-life physicians to either perform or make referrals for sterilizations.
House Bill 277, an act relative to patients' right to sterilization treatment, would make it unlawful for a Granite State physician to refuse any person who has attained the age of 18, and who requests it, a sterilization, unless they refer the patient to another physician willing to conduct the procedure.
The legislation mandates disciplinary proceedings for doctors who refuse to comply.
Traditionally, surgeons have been unwilling to perform irreversible procedures on healthy young people who have no underlying medical conditions.
The sponsor of the legislation is State Representative Ellen Read, D-Newmarket.
The opposition of the Catholic Church to sterilization is definitive and longstanding. The Catechism of the Catholic Church instructs "Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law."
Papal condemnations of sterilization can be found in the encyclicals, and other teachings, of Popes Pius XI, Pius XII, Paul VI and John Paul II. In Humanae Vitae, Paul VI stated "Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary."
In Evangelium Vitae, Saint John Paul II identified sterilization as part of a "conspiracy against life."
The Ethical and Religious Directives for Health Care Services of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops enjoin "Direct sterilization of either men or women, whether permanent or temporary, is not permitted in a Catholic health care institution."
For Catholic physicians, participating in an intrinsically immoral act---by making referrals for sterilizations---would constitute formal cooperation with evil.
The Catholic Action League characterized the measure as an "assault on religious liberty, an affront to the freedom of conscience, and a threat to the integrity of Catholic health care in New Hampshire."
Coming at a time when the Biden administration is attempting to coerce pro-life doctors into performing abortions and 'transgender' surgeries, this legislation is another chilling example of the increasingly totalitarian character of left-wing politics in America.
For so-called progressives, foundational freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, are now dispensable when they conflict with their woke agenda for reproductive rights.
Contrary to a misleading report in the New Hampshire Union Leader, there is no provision in the text of the bill for a religious exemption.
This despotic measure, contrary to natural law, must be opposed, and it must be made clear that, in the unlikely event it secures passage, it will be met with widespread non-compliance, that is to say, civil disobedience.
- C. J. Doyle
Catholic Action League of Massachusetts