Sean O’Malley: A Dying Fetus is More Valuable Than a Living Woman


Sean O’Malley is an utter disgrace.

The Archbishop of Boston has boycotted Boston College’s graduation this year because the Jesuit institution invited Ireland Prime Minister Enda Kenny to give the commencement address on May 20.

Kenny’s offense? He is advocating passage of a bill that would allow women whose lives are in danger due to pregnancy to receive abortions. The proposed legislation comes after Savita Halappanavar died in Ireland last October because doctors refused to perform an abortion, instead allowing her to slowly miscarry and consequently succumb to the accompanying case of blood poisoning. In accordance with Irish law, her doctors refused to perform an abortion under threat of arrest.

In his statement explaining the boycott, O’Malley reiterated an earlier statement by Irish bishops, which declared the proposed bill would be “a dramatic and morally unacceptable change to Irish law.”

In other words, if it were up to him and the rest of the Catholic hierarchy, they would sacrifice as many Savita Halappanavars as necessary to ensure that dying fetuses live just a few days more – even if it means taking the mothers with them.

The English language provides no shortage of adjectives for this position: absurd, ignorant, regressive, malicious, sadistic, just to name a few.

Because of such extreme positions the Catholic Church has alienated vast swaths of a society that no longer view sex as inherently sinful. O’Malley decries this development as “moral relativism,” but in reality it is a moral awakening. While the Church preaches doctrines plagued by unhealthy levels of sexual neuroticism, it is being left behind even areas where it supposed to be relevant. After all, it is in the heavily Catholic northeastern United States that has the most lenient abortion laws and where gay marriage is most prevalent.

As contemptible as O’Malley is – to say nothing of his anti-gay bigotry – he is doing society a great service. By publicly declaring his – and the Church’s – opposition to a law that would allow abortion only in cases when the mother’s life is threatened, he shows just how anti-woman he and his institution are, lest anyone be confused about it. In this way, the misogynistic nature of the Church is laid bare. As if its prohibition of female priests were insufficient, the institution’s opposition to a law that would save women’s lives is ample evidence of its contempt for women.