Poll Reveals Catholics Support Sister McBride

Last fall, St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona and Sister Margaret Mary McBride made international news after the Catholic Church severed its ties with the hospital and excommunicated Sister McBride after they performed a life-saving abortion for a patient. A new poll reveals that 72% of Catholics in the Phoenix area believe that Sister McBride made the right decision in choosing to save the woman’s life.

The new poll doesn’t surprise me, considering that another recent poll revealed that approximately 98% of Catholic women use some form of birth control, despite the Vatican’s opposition. It just goes to show that you can’t paint pictures with broad brushes, and that a nuanced discussion of religion and reproductive rights is necessary if you want to truly understand someone’s point of view. (For more discussion of the intersection of faith and feminism, check out this interview with Marissa Valeri from Catholics for Choice.)

What’s your opinion? Did Sister McBride make the right decision? Should St. Joseph’s Hospital appeal their removal from the national Catholic health care association? I’d love to hear your point of view.

About Serena:
Serena is a freelance writer who enjoys baking, protesting, and playing with little dogs.


  1. I am not Catholic, but my in-laws are and I asked my mother-in-law what she thought of this case–she is an incredibly devout Catholic–and she said absolutely you save the woman’s life. She and I both, don’t wish for a woman to have to be in this kind of terrible situation, but when the choices are either the fetus is aborted or the mother dies which in effect aborts the fetus, to not provide the life saving treatment is absolutely wrong.

    The scary thing is in this situation the message from the Catholic Church is –if a woman fails in her duty to bring children into the world, then she deserves to die. Now I don’t think this is a universally held belief in Catholicism, but its the message from those in power in the Catholic church making decisions like this one.


  2. This article makes me laugh. I’m Catholic. Just so you know, we’re sinners! Our theology comes from Christ, not popular vote. If a “Catholic” really and truly doesn’t believe in Church teaching…then they’re not a practicing Catholic, are they? We’re free to come a go anytime.

  3. Catherine Wood says:

    Kimberly, it is fortunate that your mother-in-law does not speak either for the Catholic Church or for the majority of practicing Catholics. It is unfortunate that she is giving you a non-Catholic view of life. If you wish to learn ‘true’ Catholic views on the right to life, abortion, and euthanasia you would do well to speak to a knowledgeable Catholic priest or apologist. Sadly, your mother-in-laws comments and beliefs have actually caused her to excommunicate herself from the Church. Often these heretical beliefs are the result of an unformed conscience and a lack of knowledge of the faith. Being a cradle Catholic does not guarantee that one has received the instruction required to make correct moral judgments.

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