Response to 21 WFMJ Coverage on Mercy Health | Catholic Conference of Ohio

Catholic Conference of Ohio

CCO and Bishop David J. Bonnar’s Response to 21 WFMJ Coverage on Mercy Health


Channel 21 WFMJ in Youngstown, Ohio covered a story on Mercy Health on Thursday, June 20, 2024, titled “Mercy Health affirms medically necessary abortions.” In response to this article, the Catholic Conference of Ohio sent the following statement to WFMJ:

“Catholic healthcare carries on Jesus’ ministry of healing and safeguarding life, particularly for those on the periphery and the most defenseless. The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERDs) set the standards for healing and protecting the lives of all patients, no matter the stage of a patient’s development. The ERDs specifically define abortion as the direct and intended termination of pregnancy and is never permissible as it ends a human life. When the life of a pregnant woman is in danger, Catholic healthcare policies permit interventions, such as induced labor, to save the mother’s life, even if that intervention may indirectly result in the unintended death of her unborn child.  

The Catholic bishops of Ohio will clarify with Bon Secours Mercy Health if their reported policies differ from the ERDs, which all Catholic hospital systems should follow.” 

Bishop Bonnar confirmed:

“Bishop David J. Bonnar discussed the news report with Dr. John Luellen, Market President, Mercy Health Lorain and Youngstown, who confirmed his hospital’s adherence to the ERDs.”

About the Catholic Conference of Ohio: Established in 1945, the Catholic Conference of Ohio is the official representative of the Catholic Church in matters of public policy affecting the Church and the general welfare of the citizens of Ohio.

Catholic Conference of Ohio | 100 E. Broad Street, Suite 600, Columbus, OH 43215 |

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