Forcing Hospitals to Perform Abortions

Debates over abortion aren’t really news these days. It’s one of those debates that never really goes away.

However, the debate is changing.

In Port Townsend, Washington, the debate is around whether the hospital that serves that community can be compelled to perform abortions.

In February, the Seattle office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a letter to Jefferson Healthcare claiming that the East Jefferson County Hospital is out of compliance with the state Reproductive Privacy Act by not offering to abortions on the premises.

That same month, the ACLU sued Skagit Regional Health claiming that the hospital violated law by referring those seeking an abortion to the local Planned Parenthood affiliate rather than provide the abortions themselves.

These lawsuits and threats rely upon a 2013 opinion from Attorney General Bob Ferguson regarding the Reproductive Privacy Act, passed by voters in 1991. That Reproductive Privacy Act states that there is a “fundamental right to choose or refuse” birth control or abortion and prohibits the state from discriminating through “regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services or information.”

While no other Attorney General or judge has taken this position in 22 years, Mr. Ferguson declared that it is now illegal for a public hospital not to provide abortions.

There are many reasons rural hospitals might not provide abortions (or other services) that have nothing do with philosophical opposition to abortion.

Rural hospitals don’t have the same resources as urban hospitals.

There are undoubtedly many services East Jefferson County Hospital doesn’t provide and that isn’t because they hate people who need heart surgery or have Ebola.

It is common for one provider to refer patients to another provider to ensure they are cared for by the person best equipped to handle their situation.

Women will not be better served by forcing people to provide a service when they had previously decided someone else was in a better position to do so.

Those of us who have spent significant amounts of time in rural communities have all had the experience of having to travel out of the area for particularized care. It’s one of the trade-offs for not having to sit in traffic for two hours every day.

Only abortion industry advocates consider that to be a legal problem.

Still, this case illustrates how the abortion debate in Washington has changed.

Even before Roe v. Wade, Washington State has made abortion available to women at taxpayer’s expense. The abortion industry gives Washington State an A+ rating.

Washington is an abortionist’s paradise.

But they still aren’t content.

The new frontier in abortion advocacy is forcing other people to be part of their “private” decision to have an abortion.

As a result, now you can get sued for helping a woman find someone who will provide an abortion because that’s just not enough.

You should have done it yourself.

For four years in a row, the Washington State House of Representatives has passed legislation that would require every private insurance policy to cover abortion.

The State of Washington has been trying to force pharmacists in Olympia to sell Plan B, a drug they object to because they believe it causes an early term abortion, since 2007.

The harassment of a rural hospital is just the latest front in their war against choice.

It’s the new debate that doesn’t focus on whether abortion should be legal, but focuses on whether you should be free to make decisions based on the fact that you have a different view.

If you live in Jefferson County, you can contact the commissioners of the Jefferson County Public Hospital District here:

Jill Buhler
jbuhler@jeffersonhealthcare.org
Tony DeLeo adeleo@jeffersonhealthcare.org
Mmarie Dressler, RN mdressler@jeffersonhealthcare.org
Matt Ready mready@jeffersonhealthcare.org
Chuck Russell crussell@jeffersonhealthcare.org

The ACLU has also sent letters to the Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville and Mason General Hospital in Shelton. If you live in those areas, contact your local hospital boards as well.

Feel free to call Bob Ferguson at 360-753-6200 and share your thoughts.

Be cheerful, but be heard.

3 replies
  1. Laurie. Coykendall
    Laurie. Coykendall says:

    I sent a letter to AG Ferguson, and he indicated that he is against duscrimination, of all kinds, and even stated that he wants not to be discriminated against in a restaurant where he celebrates his twins’ First Communion. This indicates to me that he is Catholic. He thinks that discrimination has to do with denying anyone any service, when they perceive discrimination, trumping even persons own religiious freedom to operate a business in accordNce with their religious beliefs. How can we show him that supporting a “marriage ” ceremony by a business person is the same as a priest or deacon acting at the officiant at that ceremony? Regardless of your personal belief basned on religion, must all Washingtonians provide services to all people in all settings? What about providing flowers at a “wedding” ceremony between a man and his dog? Or delivering congratulatory flowers to a eoman who just chose to abort her unborn twins at a hospital which now must provide abortions? Will be all be forced to celebrate and support all activites we consider grave sin? It appears we are in this State. In the military, Christian pastors are being removed if they don’t actively support those who are gay, and I learned that all religions are to be tolerated without debate- including Wicca, Satanism and even atheism, which is not a religion. Soldiers and Sailors, Marines, Coast Guardsmen and Airmen are all being told they must accept and even encourage LBGT declared persons. When a vocal minority is being given State and Federal judicial support, and when the silent but most precious and defenseless unborn are being destroyed daily under the guise of choice and law, where is the State and Country heading?

    Reply
  2. pat jack
    pat jack says:

    A person is a living human being. Our inalienable rights (those not decided by a government, but are our rights because we are humans) are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Obviously these rights are ordered. A person must be alive to have liberty, or to pursue happiness. The right to life is the most important right. A person is a living human being, a being of human origin. It is obvious that an embryo/ infant in a mothers womb is alive and growing, and that the embryo/ infant is of human origin. An abortion is the termination of this life, so it is murder. If you do not believe that an embryo/infant in the womb is a person then you would have to decide when it becomes a person, and which beings of human origin are humans. The Dread Scott decision and the slavery laws prior to the civil war decided that human beings of African descent were not “persons” and therefore did not have inalienable rights. Do we really want our lawyers and legislators deciding which of us are “persons” ? How about anyone with a disability, or an IQ of less than a certain amount. The Roe vs Wade decision shows that living growing infants are not considered to be persons so they can be killed, if the “mother” wants them to be. Her “right” of wanting something has been considered more important than the life of a person, her growing child.

    Reply
  3. Bill L
    Bill L says:

    This issue is being pushed by the same man who is out to destroy Arlene’s Flower. He is Attorney General Bob Ferguson and he out to destroy all business’ that put God’s word first. Please make sure to remember his name when he comes up for reelection. Vote him OUT!

    Reply

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