Cardinal O’Malley Says Caritas Hospital Deal Will Not Result in Doing Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 6, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Cardinal O’Malley Says Caritas Hospital Deal Will Not Result in Doing Abortions

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 6
, 2009

Boston, MA ( — Cardinal Sean O’Malley is responding to criticism of a Catholic hospital in Boston that some say has agreed to go back on its pro-life policies in a merger that ultimately promotes abortion. Caritas Christi Health Care has been the talk of the pro-life community because of the potential merger fallout.

Caritas has joined with Centene Corporation in a bid to provide government-subsidized health insurance in Massachusetts that would include coverage for abortion.

The bid to provide state-subsidized health insurance would take place through the Commonwealth Care program.

Nancy Turnbull, an associate dean at the Harvard School of Public Health, complained Caritas doesn’t do abortions, and the hospital released a statement last month saying the new venture "will contract with providers, both in and out of the Caritas network, to ensure access to all services required by the authority, including confidential family planning services."

O’Malley said the joint venture would be a positive development as long as abortions are not done at the Caritas.

In comment released by the archdiocese, he says he has received confirmation that abortions will not be done under the contract.

"I want to confirm for the Catholic community and the wider interested public that Caritas Christi Health Care has assured me that it will not be engaged in any procedures nor draw any benefits from any relationship which violate the Church’s moral teaching," O’Malley said in a statement.

"I understand and support the desire of Caritas Christi to serve as a healthcare system collaborating with this program," O’Malley continued. "If it can happen without compromising the Catholic identity of the system, it would benefit both civil society and especially the poor in our community."

Despite the assurances, Anne Fox, president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, told the Boston Globe she remains skeptical.

"We have great respect for their position in the past, but given the statements, further clarification is necessary, in spite of what the cardinal said," she responded.

Fox noted statements from Centene that the joint venture would include abortions and said O’Malley "has given a guarantee that I don’t think he is capable of giving, given what they have said in public."

Fox said her group has asked for a meeting with Caritas officials to receive assurances that abortions will not be done.

Archdiocesan spokesman Terrence C. Donilon also sought to assure pro-life groups in his comments with the Globe.

Donilon said Caritas will neither do abortions nor refer women to places that do them.

State officials are slated to vote next Thursday on the Caritas bid.

Deal Hudson, a prominent Catholic author, worries Caritas may be the first hospital to bend to public pressure to do abortions in the face of the Freedom of Choice Act, a radical Congressional bill that could force Catholic medical centers to do abortions.

"The first Catholic hospital system to bend to the pressure is Caritas Christi, owned and operated by the Archdiocese of Boston," he writes.

ACTION: Contact Cartisa Christi and urge it not to begin doing abortions or referring for them. Caritas Christi Health Care,
736 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02135, (p) 617-789-2500, [email protected]

Related web sites:
Caritas Christ –

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