California medical leaders are warning residents that a bill being pushed by abortion activists would threaten access to life-saving medical care for thousands of low-income and rural people across the state.
Live Action News reports state Senate Bill 379, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, would ban the University of California Health System from entering contracts with health care providers that refuse to abort unborn babies or help people kill themselves in assisted suicides, among other things.
Basically, Catholic hospitals would be prohibited from working with UC Health, a change that could cut off health care access to “tens of thousands of patients,” state medical leaders warned.
The legislation would “devastate the Medi-Cal safety net, which is a lifeline for our most vulnerable residents” and “end partnerships that save lives,” said Shelly Schlenker, of CommonSpirit Health. “Under SB 379, no one wins and everyone loses.”
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UC Health executive vice president Dr. Carrie Byington also criticized the legislation, saying it would negatively affect “low-income and rural communities and people of color,” according to the report. Without the partnerships, Byington said health disparities would be exacerbated.
“We cannot abandon the tens of thousands of patients and families in 77 locations with non-federal restrictions across the state whose lives depend on the high-quality care UC provides,” Byington said.
The California Hospital Association opposes the bill, but leading abortion advocacy groups support it, including NARAL Pro-Choice California, Equality California and the American Civil Liberties Union of California, according to a press release from Wiener’s office.
Wiener argued that the “harmful non-clinic restrictions” on abortion, assisted suicide and other procedures limit services to patients.
“SB 379 ensures that, moving forward, UC Health affiliate hospitals will allow UC providers to perform the full range of appropriate care,” he said. “California law recognizes reproductive healthcare, including abortion, as basic healthcare.”
Abortion is not health care. It is an unnecessary, elective procedure that kills an unborn baby. Similarly, assisted suicide intentionally kills people rather than treating their illness or relieving their pain, and many religious health care providers object to these life-ending procedures.
But now, because abortion activists insist that medical providers participate in this killing, tens of thousands of Californians potentially could lose access to real, life-saving health care.
Here’s more from the report:
The Register also notes that the state’s largest Catholic hospital network, Dignity Health, collaborates with UCLA to run a cancer treatment center that cared for 8,500 patients in 2019. The same Dignity Health hospital that co-managed the cancer treatment center also runs a pediatric trauma center that served 700 patients that same year. Other impacted healthcare facilities include “a cleft palate center, post-transplant care, pediatric and neonatal surgery” as well as a cancer treatment facility that serves 12,000 people each year, plus San Francisco’s only inpatient adolescent psychiatry program.
Already, plans to increase pediatric services in northern California through a partnership between UC Davis and Catholic hospitals have been put on hold because of the pending legislation.
State lawmakers are pushing aggressively to expand abortions. This spring, the legislature also is advancing a pro-abortion bill that would prohibit health insurance plans from charging co-pays, deductibles and other cost-sharing expenses for abortions in the state, Kaiser Health News reports.
California is one of the most pro-abortion states in America. It forces health insurance plans to cover elective abortions, and the state Medicaid program forces taxpayers to pay for them. By 2023, public colleges and universities also will be required to provide free abortions to students at their student health centers.
ACTION ALERT: Contact California legislators and urge opposition to this legislation.