Report Shows Catholic Healthcare West Promotes Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 20, 2010   |   5:09PM   |   Washington, DC

San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West is already facing a rebuke from a Catholic bishop over an abortion one of its hospitals did that he says violated Catholic teachings.

Now, a national pro-life organization has released the results of a new research study showing CHW has a longer history of promoting abortions.

Catholic Healthcare West is a system of 41 hospitals and medical centers located in California, Arizona and Nevada that is the eighth largest hospital system in the nation and the largest not-for-profit provider in California.

CHW member St. Joseph’s Hospital of Phoenix, Arizona, became the subject of controversy earlier this year when the head of its ethics committee, Sr. Margaret McBride, approved the abortion of an 11-week unborn baby whose mother suffered from pulmonary hypertension.

Bishop Thomas Olmsted investigated the case and, after interviewing Sr. McBride, informed her that she had excommunicated herself by approving the abortion.

Since then, CHW has defended McBride’s decision, and after months of debate, Bishop Olmsted issued a letter to CHW declaring his intent to revoke his endorsement of St. Joseph’s Hospital as a Catholic hospital unless CHW met three specific conditions.

American Life League conducted its own investigation into CHW’s activities and discovered CHW’s abortion connection is not limited to the Arizona case.

“CHW has granted money to at least six organizations that promote abortion” or birth control, ALL indicates in a report received.

“CHW helped create the Healthy San Francisco health plan, which covers elective abortion,” it added. “At least one CHW member hospital promotes the nation’s largest abortion chain, Planned Parenthood, on its web site, and another lists the provision of
contraceptives as a service.”

The report also indicates CHW’s CEO made donations to the Obama campaign and strongly endorsed the ObamaCare bill the nation’s Catholic bishops opposed because it didn’t properly stop abortion funding and rationing.

CHW members Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, Sequoia Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center donated $267,704 to 17 organizations in 2010, the report notes, including the San Francisco Health Plan.

“SFHP covers abortions. You do not need to see your PCP first or get permission for an abortion. You may obtain outpatient abortion services from an SFHP network provider or from a non-network provider, the plan notes.

Another CHW member, Northridge Hospital Medical Center “refers to a number of pro-abortion and pro-birth control resources for teens, including Planned Parenthood” through its PATH-AT program.

Another 12 members do sterilizations and many others promote birth control, the ALL report shows. [related]

On the ObamaCare bill, the report noted how a December 2009 Market Wire article titled Catholic Healthcare West Applauds Passage of Senate Health Reform Bill gave full, unqualified approval to the health care reform bill after the USCCB called the bill deficient, and American Life League reported on the provisions for abortion, birth control and euthanasia that it contained.

Concerning donations to Obama, Lloyd Dean, Catholic Healthcare West’s president and CEO, according to Federal Election Commission records, made $10,000 in contributions to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee over a ten-day period earlier that summer and donated an additional $250 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

An early supporter of Obama’s presidential campaign, Dean gave $2,300 to Obama for America in September 2007.