In New Jersey, abortion advocates tried to pressure a Catholic health system to build an abortion clinic on its premises to ensure better access to abortion. The ACLU has launched a project urging politicians to cut off funding to hospitals that do not perform abortions.
In Alaska, Valley Hospital, a nonprofit, nonsectarian community hospital, adopted a policy permitting abortions at the hospital only in the case of rape, incest and danger to the life of the mother. This is the same policy the federal government has for Medicaid and other health programs. But the Alaska Supreme Court ruled in 1997 that because Valley Hospital took Medicaid patients, it was a quasi-public organization, and must perform abortions. As Karen Vosburgh, director of the association board at Valley Hospital, testified before a House subcommittee in July: "For those of us who share (the) view -- that abortion is a form of violence, not a form of health care -- being required to provide and support it is a grave injustice."
Will NARAL, the ACLU and others succeed in driving Catholic and other pro-life medical providers out of business? To prevent these efforts to coerce hospitals, doctors, nurses and insurance providers to participate in abortions, the House recently passed the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act. A similar measure has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. "No hospital should be forced by government to perform abortions that violate its core beliefs and tenets," Rep. Dick Armey declared. "Congress should protect these hospitals and not force them to perform abortions against their faith."
So now the Democrat-controlled Senate has to decide: Are they pro-choice or only anti-Catholic?
Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.