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.