An anti-abortion news site is reporting (and a Catholic news site is picking up) an allegation that California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris may either stop the recent partnership between a Catholic healthcare provider and Hoag Hospital or force the Newport Beach medical center to perform abortions. Those fears are based on a mainstream media report indicating the Attorney General's office is investigating possible lies by Hoag's CEO regarding abortions when Harris signed off on the partnership with St. Joseph's Health System.
Harris approved the formation of Covenant Health Network after Hoag CEO Robert Braithwaite famously maintained his decision to prohibit abortions at the Newport Beach hospital had nothing to do with the new partnership with St. Joe's. Instead, Braithwaite claimed, abortions were being banned because so few were performed at Hoag annually, leading to what he characterized as increased chances of botched procedures.
His decision was not welcomed by many of Braithwaite's own physicians, especially after St. Joseph's officials confessed continued abortions at Hoag were “non-negotiable” in the partnership negotiations.
Since then, Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik has written Harris' office, which “has the legal authority to rule on any change like an abortion ban as a condition of her approving a major transaction involving California nonprofit medical institutions,” fears Braithwaite may have misrepresented Hoag's yearly abortion statistics. The CEO had said about 100 or fewer were performed annually.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General's office is also reportedly investigating allegations that Hoag has not fulfilled its conditions for allowing the abortion ban, including ensuring that women, especially low-income women, still have access to abortions in Hoag's coverage area.
Those two investigatory threads, reports anti-abortion Life Site News, could lead Harris to squash the partnership or impose mandatory abortions at Hoag.
“AG Harris has a 100% score from NARAL Pro-choice America,” reports Life Site News.
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