In a devastating new ruling, a Washington judge said Tuesday that public hospitals in the state must do abortions if they also offer maternity care.
According to the Seattle Times, the oppressive new ruling came as a result of a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington. The pro-abortion legal group argued that hospitals in the Skagit County region were not complying with a state law that requires public hospitals to provide abortions along with maternity care, according to the report.
The regional hospitals in question already were referring women to abortion clinics when they came seeking abortions, the report states. The hospitals said they do not have staff members on site who are willing to do abortions.
That was not good enough for abortion activists. Their lawsuit demands that public hospitals not only refer women for abortions but also offer abortions on site. Because of Skagit County Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis’s ruling, the hospitals will be forced to hire employees willing to do abortions.
Here is more from the report:
The hospital argued that it’s OK with having abortions performed on-site, but that it doesn’t have staff members who are willing to provide the services. The law allows health-care providers to opt out of providing abortions, but the judge said that doesn’t give the entire hospital a right not to offer abortions.
“The key distinction here is that individual providers may choose either to provide or not provide these services, but the state, acting here through the Hospital District, cannot exercise such an opt out clause,” Montoya-Lewis wrote. “The Hospital District must comply with its responsibility under the (Reproductive Privacy Act), and the Court sees no tenable reason why it cannot.”
The hospital district did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The ACLU also sent letters to public hospitals in other parts of the state, threatening them with lawsuits if they do not perform abortions, according to the report.
“We’ll make sure hospital districts around the state are aware of the ruling and of the need for all of them to comply with the law,” ACLU Washington spokesman Doug Honig said.
Hospitals are not the only facilities that abortion activists are trying to force to promote abortions. A new California law is forcing pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise abortions. The radical, pro-abortion law took effect in December, forcing about 150 pro-life non-profits to choose between advertising free and low-cost abortions through the state or facing fines of up to $1,000 if they do not comply.
The new law forces pregnancy clinics to inform women and girls that California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost abortions for eligible women. These faith-based medical centers also must tell their client to contact the county social services office to see if the pregnant woman qualifies for the free or cheap abortions.
Several pro-life organizations have filed lawsuits against the California law, saying it violates their freedom of speech and freedom of religion in the U.S. Constitution and, according to one lawsuit, the California Constitution. In December, two judges refused to stop the law from taking effect while the lawsuits continue, LifeNews reported.
California churches also are being forced to pay for abortions in their employees’ health insurance plans. The troubling situation began in 2014 when the California Department of Managed Health Care reclassified abortion as a “basic health service” under the Affordable Care Act and ordered all insurance plans in the state to begin covering surgical abortions immediately. Even churches are not exempt from funding abortions.
Several churches filed a lawsuit against the regulation last October. However, on June 21, the Obama Administration ruled that the churches must comply with the onerous state regulation.