The reason this particular item interests The Motley Monk is that Hoag--a Presbyterian hospital--affiliated with St. Joseph Health--a Catholic healthcare network--in early 2013. Not long after the affiliation, Hoag officials announced that elective abortion services would no longer be performed at Hoag. Those officials said they made that decision due to the fact there was little demand for the procedure, with fewer than 100 abortions were being performed annually at Hoag.
When the ban was announced, protesters--women's health advocates and Hoag doctors--said they were told that affiliating with St. Joseph would eliminate no services. Some protesters claimed the ban inhibits them from giving their patients the best care possible. Others expressed concern about the role of religion in the changing healthcare environment, where a growing number of non-Catholic providers have merged or partnered with Catholic institutions.
Later, it was discovered that the decision to ban abortions was a condition of Hoag's partnership with St. Joseph Health.
That finding led to an investigation on the part of the state attorney general's office which had approved the affiliation in February 2013. The question was whether Hoag officials misrepresented the number of abortions performed annually at Hoag.
The agreement closes the investigation. Its provisions include extending the time that Hoag must continue to provide all reproductive health services except elective abortions from 10 years to 20 years. However, Hoag is also forbidden from refusing to perform procedures that may conflict with St. Joseph's religious directives--such as tubal ligations--through 2033.
In the best of all worlds, hospitals would provide none of these so-called "services." But, this isn't the best of all worlds and this agreement may be the best deal that could have been brokered. It's a small victory for those who are pro-life.
Let the discussion begin...
To read the Daily Pilot article, click on the following link: