Thursday, August 8, 2013

Catholic hospitals must have relationship with abortionists or violate federal law: Wisconsin AG

by Ben Johnson

August 7, 2013 ( – Any Catholic hospital that refuses to grant admitting privileges to an abortionist would "be in active violation of federal law," according to a court brief filed by Wisconsin Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen last week.

U.S. law "provides that hospitals accepting federal funds may not discriminate against a physician because that physician has participated in or refused to participate in abortions," it states.

Under a new law signed by Governor Scott Walker, abortionists must have admitting privileges within 30 miles of their abortion office.

Three Catholic hospitals – Columbia-Saint Mary’s, the Hospital Sisters’ Health System, and Wheaton Franciscan Health-care – had indicated, due to the tenets of their faith, they would not grant such privileges.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice holds that any facility that receives federal funds would lose all such money if it refused to allow abortionists to admit the victims of botched procedures.

Planned Parenthood has stated at least seven of its abortionists are seeking such rights.

Last Friday, U.S. District Judge William Conley granted a preliminary injunction against the state law until November on the grounds that it would impose an undue burden on women by closing abortion facilities.

Conley, an Obama appointee, ruled the law provided "substantial likelihood" of causing "irreparable harm" to women by closing abortion offices in Madison and Appleton, forcing women to drive farther to procure the procedure.

Presently, 71 percent of women nationwide drive 25 miles or less to procure an abortion. The median distance to an abortion clinic is 15 miles.

The state filed an appeal of Conley's injunction with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

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