‘Flower on the door’ used to mark abortions at Catholic hospitals
When a child is delivered stillborn, a small flower or other token often marks the door of the mother’s recovery room to help staff recognize the loss.
According to one Catholic doctor, the same symbol was used in at least one Catholic hospital where doctors routinely induced labor to hasten the death of a child diagnosed with a genetic defect - a practice she says occurs in “a handful” of Catholic hospitals across the United States.
Dr. Lorna Cvetkovich told a bioethics conference at Christendom College in Virginia this month about her experience at one Catholic hospital she declined to name, where she says abortions had been routinely performed on disabled children for twenty years. Cvetkovich currently works at the pro-life Tepeyac Family Center and is medical director of Sanctity of Life Ministries in Fairfax, Virginia.
“They would place a little flower on the door of a woman to her room to indicate the baby had died - except they also placed a flower on the door of a woman who was being induced with a live baby,” Cvetkovich told the audience. “Most of these were hydrocephalics, or genetic anomalies, that kind of thing.”
Cvetkovich said the hospital’s policies and procedures allowed for the procedure, but were written such that “you really had to read it with a fine-toothed comb to figure out that this was allowable.”
Soberingly, Cvetkovich said the hospital claimed the protocol had even been approved by the local ordinary. “One of the hardest situations I’d ever went through was sitting in the MD’s office and having him tell me, ‘I only did what your bishop told me I could do,’” she recalled.
“It’s hard to have a response to that.”