A Salem reader’s accusation that Catholic hospitals’ lawsuit to seek an exemption under the federal Healthcare Law from prosecution for not performing abortions and other medical acts contrary to Catholic faith was creating a “theocracy” seems baseless. Other groups have obtained exemptions, and they were never accused of that.
Even American military draft laws allow exemptions from direct military service to conscientious objectors based upon personal freedom of conscience.
Unlike Italy and other foreign nations, the United States has a Bill of Rights in its Constitution that protects individuals and religious groups from government interference of freedom to worship and freedom of conscience.
Its seems reasonable to me that Catholic hospitals seek legal shelter from the lack of exemptions not included in the national Healthcare Law.