CATHOLIC HOSPITALS: Ideology Should Not Prevent Some Services
In a letter to the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Arthur Wisot of Reproductive Partners in Redondo Beach, CA, calls for legislation that would prevent religious beliefs from limiting reproductive services in tax-supported public institutions and in areas with no other health facilities. Wisot criticizes Catholic hospitals that refuse to offer services "that do not involve the termination of an existing pregnancy," including tubal ligations or emergency contraception in cases of rape -- both of which, he notes, "help prevent the need for abortions." Wisot points to a recent case where Little Company of Mary Hospital leased a tax-supported, public Redondo Beach facility and "prohibited fertility procedures such as egg retrievals for in vitro fertilization and even surgery to remove severely damaged tubes prior to IVF." He concludes his call for legislation by saying, "Catholics, after all, believe in free will. Perhaps people should be allowed to exercise their free will and decide for themselves if they want to use these services" (Wisot, 1/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.