Messed Up

I hate when stuff like this happens in my pretty liberal/progressive town of Austin:

Seton Family of Hospitals is surrendering operations of a high-risk pregnancy clinic citing a conflict with Catholic ethics rules.

The clinic on the third floor of University Medical Center Brackenridge provides birthing and other pregnancy-related services to low-income women in Central Texas. Seton runs the division through a lease with Central Health, the taxing district that owns the facility.

During a regular Central Health board meeting Wednesday, the group approved ending Seton’s lease for the clinic, according to a Seton spokeswoman, and passing operations onto CommUnityCare. Officials wrote in a memo that Seton had asked to change their lease “to comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care,” without saying specifically what was in conflict.

The Austin-American Statesman reported Seton disagreeing with the unit possibly providing birth control, and Austin’s Catholic Church Bishop Joe Vasquez faulted Central Health for using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.

“Bishop Vasquez is pleased that Seton has taken these steps,” the newspaper quoted diocesan spokesman Christian González saying.

The agreement is contingent on the Health Resources and Services Administration agreeing to add the clinic to CommUnityCare’s scope as a federally-qualified health center, which would fund services, according to the meeting agenda.

Seton will continue to lease the rest of the Brackenridge hospital facilities. The Central Texas-based nonprofit operates Austin’s largest hospital Seton Medical Center Austin, which serves about 83,000 patients annually, as well as 13 area health care centers. It employs about 11,000 full- and part-time workers.

CommUnityCare, formerly Community Health Centers, was spun off from the city of Austin into its own nonprofit last year with the aim of expanding services and increasing its capacity to serve more uninsured and under-insured people in Central Texas. It operates a total 16 locations, providing more than 225,000 patient visits annually.

So, it appears that the clinic will live on.  Thank goodness.

I just love when the Catholic Church decides that some (possible) real-life realities (maybe) conflict with their (anti-women) principles and that those (possible) conflicts are way more important than the actual lives of God’s children (of the female variety).  And then everyone else acquiesces to the Church.

Thanks to Mo for the heads up.


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