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The Boston Globe

Nation

Church hospital focus of fetus debate

DENVER — It was a startling assertion that seemed an about-face from church doctrine: A Catholic hospital arguing in a Colorado court that twin fetuses that died in its care were not, under state law, human beings.

When the two-year-old court filing surfaced last month, it triggered an avalanche of criticism, because the legal argument seemed to clash with the church’s centuries-old stance that life begins at conception. But it is now fueling a raging debate in Colorado and beyond about whether fetuses should have legal rights and, if so, what kind.

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