The following is a comment written by a doctor and illustrates what happens when clerical folks who aren't medically educated apply their absolutist morality to specific situations. They become abusive and this abuse can kill.
"I have never advocated elective abortion and never participated in one, yet I as a scientist can not agree with the Bishops about what constitutes an elective abortion. I worked with a patient that was told by a recently trained priest that the Bishop would excommunicate her if she went ahead with a D&C for an inevitable abortion.
She was running a fever in a very early pregnancy and it was determined by her gynecologist that the products of conception were badly infected. He told her correctly that this was a life threatening problem and she required an immediate D&C. Instead of going right to the hospital, my patient stopped to talk to her pastor. (Oh the poor woman.)
When he heard the term inevitable abortion, he became angry and told my patient that inevitable abortions do not exist. He then told her if she had the D&C that he would report her to the Bishop for excommunication. (Inevitable abortions used to be called spontaneous miscarriages. When the infected fetus doesn't spontaneously abort it decays, as all dead things do, and septicemia results. This is a very life threatening condition. This young priest is totally out of his league and threatening excommunication over a dead and infected fetus is clerical malpractice.)
She then called me and I called the chancery and was told by the Monsignor in charge that there was no reason to take this to the Bishop as the Bishop would back his priest. I explained to him that this was the same as a miscarriage, that the fetus was certainly dead and that my patient might well die without the D&C.
He asked me if I had ever heard of antibiotics. I told him that she would need intravenous antibiotics as well as a D&C as her fetus had become an abscess in her uterus. He told me there was nothing he could do. (Nothing except tell a medical practitioner how to practice medicine and back the boys in black.)
I explained to him that I was a graduate of a Catholic medical school and that I had never before run across a Bishop or priests that actually tried to practice medicine without a license and that my patient probably would die if she took their advice and that if asked I would help the husband sue all the clerics involved when that happened. (The truth is the Church has been using absolutist stands on abortion and birth control as a means of controlling women's reproductive issues. They have been defacto practicing gynecology strictly from a moral position while ignoring any other medical or scientific point of view.)
I then called her husband, a teacher at a Catholic HS, and discussed the problem with him. Apparently the monsignor had second thoughts and telephoned the patient and after a conversation told her that he did not think she should have a D&C but that she would not be excommunicated if she had it. The husband was furious with the pastor and the Bishop. (It's quite a sad statement that only the threat of lawyers ever works with the boys in black. I couldn't help but notice the monsignor only backed off the excommunication issue, his medical advice was still in effect.)
Fortunately, this couple decided to follow good medical advice and the lady met her Gynecologist in the hospital and had her procedure. She spent 3 days afterward in the ICU in shock from her infection after the procedure, but the outcome was finally OK.
These men in the Episcopacy must stop to take a serious look at where all the doctrinaire preaching is leading. They have little ability to understand science or medicine, yet they pronounce what they believe to be infallible statements about this field. They tell women that to take Birth Control pills causes abortions, they tell partners of HIV positive spouses or boyfriends that condoms allow the virus through (The World Health Association has proven the opposite to be true.) (And this iventifacted advice kills people by the millions.)
Bishops have little understanding of embryology. Yet they make these pseudo-infallible statements about Abortions. Let's be clear, an abortion can not occur unless there is implantation in the uterus. From 60 to 80 percent of all fertilized ova never implant. After an ovum is fertilized it becomes a structure that is known as a blastocoel. Most of these structures never survive. They are like seeds trying to find a fertile spot to germinate and like most seeds, most blastocoels never have a chances to implant or germinate. (The silence on this one fact about implantation is deafening because it means birth control pills and morning after pills are not abortifacients. Without implantation a blastocoel is not viable human life.)
The Bishops recently fail to understand that many of the blastoceols that do implant and form embryos do not develop properly and undergo what physicians call a spontaneous abortion. These abortions used to be understood as miscarriages by the clerics, but they are now counted in the the Bishops’ abortions statistics. (If the bishops are going to add spontaneous abortions to abortion statistics they better get on it and excommunicate God.)
This is just one egregious example of abortion absolutism being taken to a potentially lethal end.
We could see some really interesting things come about if this same absolutism is taken to it's logical end with regards to marriage.
If the hierarchy really wants to protect the tradition of marriage as a unit of procreation then instead of limiting themselves to gay marriage and adoption, they need to go all the way.
They should be starting initiatives in which couples who cannot pass adoption standards should not be allowed to marry and have children. If you can't adopt you can't procreate. It goes without saying that if you can't procreate at all you can't get married. There for no woman past menopause should be allowed to marry.
What if we really got serious about traditional marriage, just like the clerics mentioned above got serious about abortion. Here's one example of how this all might play out.
A teenager like Bristol Palin would not be allowed to marry her baby's father in that he has publicly stated he doesn't want any "f'ng" children. This couple would not pass the adoption standard, so no marriage for them. As an unmarried single woman her baby would be taken by the state for it's own good until suitable parents could be found.
Bristol's own parents would not be suitable because the father is unemployed, the mother is never home, and they already have three other underage children one of whom is special needs. Additionally, as parents, they have already proven they are patently incapable of teaching appropriate sexual ethics to their own children. So no adoption for them. Say good bye to your baby Bristol, because after all, this is all for it's own good.
Sound crazy? It's not really, it's just the logical extension of the absolute position on traditional marriage. It's no crazier than some young priest telling a woman who needs a D and C to remove a dead decaying fetus that she will be excommunicated if she does so.
If it's a moral imperative to protect the rights of the unborn by allowing the quite dead to kill the mother, it also makes sense to protect the moral imperative of traditional marriage by taking babies from teenage mothers, refusing to marry them, and adopting the child out to some perfectly defined perfect family. It's the moral thing to do. The fact it's cruel and mostly insane has nothing to with it. Jesus weeps.