State to Force Catholic Hospitals to Offer Privileges to Abortionists

In a severe blow to religious freedom, the Attorney General of Wisconsin stated in court documents that the state may force Catholic hospital to offer admitting privileges to abortionists.

Wisconsin recently passed a law requiring abortion doctors to have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of their clinics. Planned Parenthood sued, of course. Wisconsin AG J.B. Van Hollen argued in defense of the new state law that plans by three Catholic hospital systems in Wisconsin -Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, Columbia St. Mary's Health System and Hospital Sisters Health System - to deny admitting privileges to doctors who perform abortions would violate federal law and put them at risk of losing all federal funding.

This would be a very dangerous consequence of a pro-life law.

The interesting thing is that the federal law the AG's decision is based on was written to insure that pro-life doctors weren't forced to take part in abortions. The law, the Church Amendment, states that hospitals accepting federal funds can not discriminate against doctors either because they refuse to take part in abortion or participate in abortions.

According to JS Online, at least four Planned Parenthood abortionists are applying for privileges at religiously affiliated hospitals.

Wheaton Franciscan Assistant General Counsel Matt Moran defended the Catholic organization's commitment to its Catholic identity by telling JS Online, "The medical staff and hospital board have discretion in making decisions on granting privileges and can consider the mission, values and operational needs of the organization. Requiring certain professional, ethical and character qualifications is recognized by the courts as valid and related to the operation of the hospital."

So, once again we will likely have Catholics heading to court to avoid being required to participate in our nation's anti-life culture.

*subhead*Catholics in court.*subhead*


  1. check out Ann Althouse's take on this issue especially her last paragraph

  2. What is the precise meaning of "admitting privileges"? Does it mean they can force a Catholic hospital to let them perform an abortion there?

  3. @Sophia: I was kind of wondering the same thing. I suppose you're allowed to save the mother's life but not the child's?

  4. there's a big ol' difference between refusing to perform abortions and making money off of performing abortions. One dr. has blood on his hands the other doesn't. This is apples and oranges.

  5. I'm surprised that taking government dollars is still an option for Catholic hospitals. (surprised that the gov't still gives it to them and also that they still take it)

  6. When Catholic hospitals take money from government sources, they give that government power over them. How much may vary, but it's still not a smart plan to lie down with pigs.

  7. Amend to read "anti-life, anti-religion, and anti-democratic culture."

  8. @Bill Meyer: Taxes belong to the taxpayer at all times. The government is giving nothing to nobody. Healthcare in hospitals is the performance of the corporal and the SPIRITUAL works of mercy. As virtue, works of mercy may not be dictated by the federal government. The taxes used were donated by the citizens and as their response to loving one's neighbor, the second part of the Great Commandment.

  9. Admitting priviledges means that the Doctor can admit a patient to be cared for in the hospital - and he can continue to be her doc while she is in the hospital. It means that the abortion provider can care for any women with complications after her procedure himself, instead of dumping the patient on the ER and running. More responsibility and more oversight, actually. Catholic hospitals are already caring for these patients, as they come bleeding to the ER with sketchy histories of what they had done and where. Making physicians take responsibility for these train wreaks appeals strongly to those of us who care the the women during the aftermath.

    Admitting privileges does not mean the ability to perform abortions on site. It may shock you to learn that MANY providers with admitting privileges at Catholic hospitals DO OFF SITE ABORTIONS. They don't have to be pro-life to get privileges!


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