Those who choose to seek medical care or work at a Catholic hospital should expect the facility to abide by church teachings, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum tells Newsmax.
In an exclusive interview, Santorum addressed the hoopla surrounding a recent federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops over its ethical guidelines for Roman Catholic hospitals.
The ACLU accuses the bishops of negligence
for failing to offer a pregnant woman in premature labor the option of terminating her pregnancy as a lifesaving measure. The woman survived, but her baby died within hours of the birth.
Without speaking on the merits of the ACLU case, Santorum blasted American justices "over the course of many, many years" for the "drum beat of assault on religion in this country."
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Most Catholic hospitals are located in major cities that offer other options for patients or workers who may not agree with church doctrine, according to Santorum, a practicing Catholic who has been outspoken about what he believes are unconstitutional mandates barring biblical teachings in the public arena.
Should there be a situation where a Catholic facility is the only option, accommodations should be made, he added.
The implementation of Obamacare has raised the ire of the Catholic hierarchy, who feel that it’s beyond the government's scope to dictate how the church can incorporate its religious beliefs into its hospitals, which comprise 13 percent of American medical facilities. Mergers between Catholic and secular hospitals have muddied the waters further.
The courts have failed to understand the importance of faith as a vital factor in maintaining a free and democratic society, Santorum says, and the chipping away of religious freedoms will continue.
"America is about freedom of religion, not freedom from religion," he told Newsmax.
"It is an attempt by those who don't agree with those biblical principles to banish that type of thought from the public arena and even from our schools and from any aspect outside of the church walls itself. That is contrary to everything America has stood for."
The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced it would hear arguments in the cases of two businesses — Hobby Lobby, a Christian arts and crafts chain, and Conestoga Wood Specialties, which is owned by a Mennonite family — that argue that they should not be forced to pay for the "morning after" pill as part of its insurance plan.
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