A new terror for the left: Catholic hospitals

The AP has a hair-raising horror story for leftists still reeling from the Dobbs decision returning the question of abortion to the states: Catholic hospitals are on the rise!  Even in states in which abortion will remain legal, there are some regions in which non-Catholic hospitals are going under and the only thing left is those "eeeevil" abortion-free, contraception-limiting Catholic health care providers.

The article, entitled "Catholic hospitals' growth impacts reproductive health care" focuses on Connecticut, where Covenant Health, a Catholic hospital system, is planning to merge with a non-Catholic hospital and health care system that's unable to remain open on its own.  For Democrats, the fact that Covenant Health won't provide abortions is a problem:

Lois Utley, a specialist in tracking hospital mergers, said her organization, Community Catalyst, has identified more than 20 municipalities in blue or purple states where the only acute care hospitals are Catholic.

"We are definitely sliding backwards in terms of comprehensive reproductive health," Utley said. "Catholic systems are taking over many physician practices, urgent care centers, ambulatory care centers, and patients seeking contraception won't be able to get it if their physician is now part of that system."

According to the Catholic Health Association, there are 654 Catholic hospitals in the U.S., including 299 with obstetric services. The CHA says more than one in seven U.S. hospital patients are cared for in a Catholic facility.

Even the AP must concede, though, that Catholic hospitals are not so dogmatic that they'll let pregnant women die rather than treat them when necessary.  As Sister Mary Haddad, the CHA president explained in an email to the AP, if the mother "suffers from an urgent, life-threatening condition during pregnancy, Catholic health clinicians provide all medically indicated treatment even if it poses a threat to the unborn."

Image: Nuns at Seattle's Providence Hospital, 1913.

The AP also got input from California senator Scott Wiener, one of the most radical Democrats in an already radical state.  He's the one who authored the bill making it a mere misdemeanor knowingly to expose someone to HIV, a potentially fatal disease.  He also authored legislation allowing California government documents to list a non-binary gender, making those forms meaningless for identification purposes.

Although Wiener conceded that Catholic hospitals do an excellent job doing what hospitals are supposed to do — that is, provide health care — the refusal to do abortions and tubal ligations is a problem:

In California, Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener is among those warily monitoring the proliferation of Catholic health care providers, who operate 52 hospitals in his state.

The hospitals provide "superb care to a lot of people, including low-income communities," Wiener said. But they "absolutely deny people access to reproductive health care."

"It's the bishop, not professional standards, that are dictating who can receive what health care," Wiener said. "That is scary."

To their credit, the AP writers interviewed Charles Camosy, a professor at the Creighton University School of Medicine who pointed out the obvious: Catholic hospitals are going where there is no other health care available, and they're doing a good job when they're there.  For example, when it comes to that merger in rural Connecticut, if the merger doesn't happen, the existing health care system may not continue.

Meanwhile, in Washington state, the state is attempting to block all hospital mergers and acquisitions that would end abortion access.  Oregon already has such a law.

In other words: If you won't kill babies, don't come here trying to provide health care.  At least you know where you stand in the Pacific Northwest.

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