“We can help you get the abortion you need”
On January 6, 2011, Catholic Healthcare West awarded nearly $1.2 million in grants to various nonprofit organizations in Sacramento, Placer, Yolo and Nevada counties.
Catholic Healthcare West has been in the news often lately for its undercutting of Church teaching on the issue of abortion. In December, Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix stripped one of its member hospitals, St. Joseph’s of Phoenix, of its Catholic designation. The Bishop’s action came in the wake of an abortion carried out at the hospital, followed by an attempted justification of the abortion by hospital staff.
CHW is represented in the Sacramento area by Mercy Hospitals. Among the organizations receiving “Community Grants” from CHW/Mercy was the Capitol Community Health Network. A CHW-Mercy press release describes the Capitol Community Health Network as:
“A member network of nonprofit community clinics and other health services organizations that provide a continuum of cost effective, culturally appropriate, high quality, primary health care services to all people regardless of ability to pay.”
The CCHN’s own webpage gives its background, in part:
“The Capitol Community Health Network (CCHN) started life in 1994, as the Sacramento Community Clinic Association. Initially, it was an advocacy organization for non-profit women’s healthcare clinics whose funding streams were threatened by the implementation of Geographic Managed Care in Sacramento County.”
The CCHN consists of 12 member clinics, all of which are listed on its website. They include Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and Women’s Health Specialists. Members of the CCHN Board of Directors include Shauna Heckert, who is also the Executive Director of Women's Health Specialists and Deborah Ortiz, the Vice-President of Planned Parenthood Monte Mar.
The services provided by Planned Parenthood are well known. Those provided by the Women’s Health Specialists are described on their "services” page:
“We offer all methods of birth control for women including: The Pill, IUD, Depo Provera, Nuvaring, the Patch, Cervical Cap, Diaphragm, Vaginal Film and Condoms and Contraceptive Foam, and information on Fertility Awareness. We also provide referrals for permanent (male and female) sterilizations services.”
The services page also has a “Comprehensive Abortion” section:
“We provide early and later abortion to 18 weeks of pregnancy. If you are early in your pregnancy, you can choose Mifeprex, the "abortion pill”, surgical abortion or abortion with manual vacuum aspiration (MVA). If you are later in your pregnancy, contact us. We can help you get the abortion you need.”
The “Services” page also contains special sections for “Early Suction Abortions,” “Early Medical Abortions (RU-486)” and “Later Abortions.”
Like Planned Parenthood, Women’s Health Specialists are pro-abortion activists. They have a speakers bureau, and they describe its role:
“We provide education and workshops on a variety of women's health issues including: Abortion, Menopause, Birth control, Gynecological Self Help, AIDS, History of the Women’s Health Movement, Women’s Sexuality, Health Care for Lesbians, Civil Rights Issues of Women's Right to Choose, the Anti-Choice Movement and its effects on women reproductive rights.”
Catholic Healthcare West is one of the largest members of the Catholic Health Association. On March 11, 2010 the CHA issued their now famous letter to congress supporting the passage of President Obama’s healthcare bill. The letter completely undercut the position of the Church, which insists that a healthcare bill that does not defend the right to life must be opposed. The responses to the CHA’s letter, on the part of the Catholic bishops were voluminous. That of Bishop Thomas Tobin of Rhode Island addressed to Sr. Carol Keehan, Chief Executive of the CHA, is representative:
“Your enthusiastic support of the legislation, in contradiction to the position of the Bishops of the United States, provided an excuse for members of Congress, misled the public and cause serious scandal for many members of the Church…”
Indeed. While Sacramento's good Bishop Jaime Soto attends the Walk for Life and encourages his pastors to bring their flocks, he gets knifed in his own backyard by a "Catholic" orgaization.
Update: Life News and California Catholic Daily are on the story.