Anti-choice groups oppose continuation of abortion services in Waterbury, CT, following hospital merger
Monday, August 29, 2011 at 11:12AM
MW Editor

A proposal in Waterbury, CT, would bring together secular Waterbury Hospital and Catholic Saint Mary's Hospital under a new joint venture with a Texas-based for-profit company, LHP Hospital Group. Even though Saint Mary's would own only 10% of the joint venture, the two secular partners have agreed to have Catholic health restrictions apply.

Waterbury Hospital's CEO has publicly pledged that "there is a commitment to provide the continuation of all health care services now available in Greater Waterbury." That would include abortions, which are presently provided at Waterbury Hospital. One method of doing this would be to create a separately-incorporated facility to provide abortions and other women's reproductive health services that would become prohibited after Catholic restrictions are imposed at Waterbury Hospital and the merged new medical facility that will eventually be constructed.

But even that proposal is being opposed by Connecticut Right to Life, which says it would "work against any merger of Waterbury Hospital with Saint Mary's Hospital if the merger would result in the opening of a new abortion clinic in Waterbury."

MergerWatch Director Lois Uttley was interviewed by the Waterbury Republican American newspaper and said; "I really think they are bending over backwards to accommodate the Catholic religion and restrictions in this entity. Saint Mary's is only one of three partners and will only own 10 percent of this entity, so it seems to me there's been a great deal of deference given to Catholic restrictions here. There needs to be an equal amount of attention paid to protecting patients' rights and access to care, and I'm hopeful this will happen as the partnership goes forward."

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