Monday, July 16, 2012

Splitting Hairs on Hospital Merger

Note this distinction without a difference in today's Inquirer article on the proposed Abington Memorial / Holy Redeemer Hospital merger ("Details still to be worked out in Abington, Holy Redeemer partnership," by Michael Vitez):

[Laurence] Merlis pledged Friday that, other than direct abortions, all reproductive services would continue at Abington. A statement enumerated them: contraception counseling and services, tubal ligations, vasectomies, fertility services, emergency contraception for sexual-assault victims, stem-cell research and treatment, and all necessary measures to preserve the health of the mother, including those that may result in termination of a pregnancy.

What is the difference between a direct abortion and the termination of a pregnancy?

The statement mentions fertility services but doesn't address the issue of "selective reduction" in cases where in vitro fertilization results in multiple successful embryo implantations (think Octomom).

Something else to think about.  HR 358, which passed the House earlier this year, removes the obligation of hospitals with religious objections to abortion to arrange transport for women, even those with health emergencies, to hospitals that would perform an abortion.   It is currently sitting in the Senate.  The bill was introduced by Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Pitts. 

However well-intentioned the current administrators of Abington Memorial Hospital are now, it is the details of any merger agreement that will decide the medical policies of any merged facility.

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