Yesterday the ACLU issued a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services asking it to investigate religious hospitals that refuse to provide emergency “reproductive health care.” CMS is a branch of the Dept. of Health and Human Services, which is directed by pro-abort Kathleen Sebelius….
Named first in the letter, and given as its impetus, is St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ, where Sr. Margaret McBride was demoted and excommunicated in May for authorized the abortion of an 11-week-old baby whose mother was deemed to be gravely ill.
In its letter the ACLU cites 3 other instances of (unnamed) Catholic hospitals supposedly refusing to provide abortions in dire emergency situations.
The ACLU states these and other hospitals that refuse to commit emergency abortions on religious grounds are violating the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act and the Conditions of Participation of Medicare and Medicaid.
These are serious charges. A hospital found in violation could lose its Medicare/Medicaid funding, which is likely its major artery to financial survival.
In its letter the ACLU states hospitals “cannot invoke their religious status to
jeopardize the health and lives of pregnant women seeking medical care.” As pro-lifers know, abortion for “health” reasons can mean a lot of things, according to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Doe v. Bolton decision.
Given the radically pro-abortion ideology of Obama and his administration, including Sebelius, it is right to worry this may not end well. Don’t forget Obama promised over a year ago to overturn measures President Bush set in place to enforce the legal right of conscience of medical facilities and personnel. Obama hasn’t done so yet, and the ACLU may be growing impatient. Or perhaps the Obama administration and the ACLU have decided together the Phoenix incident is a good trigger.
[HT: Bioethike via reader DEH]