The Catholic bishop of Phoenix, Arizona today (December 21, 2010) stripped a local hospital of Catholic affiliation after it ended a woman's pregnancy to save her life, according to the Reuters website.
Bishop Thomas Olmstead said he had no choice but to sever ties after St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center violated church teaching in the November 2009 case. He called the surgery involving the 11-week pregnancy "an abortion."
Linda Hunt, St. Joseph's hospital president, said she is saddened by Olmstead's announcement.
The patient suffered from pulmonary hypertension that could limit the functioning of her heart and lungs, the hospital said. Failure to end the pregnancy could have exacerbated the condition, it added.