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Letters & Op-Eds - 2000

seattle times

Swedish Selling Out Women in Seattle Hospital Deal

Frances Kissling

12 March 2000

A March 1 news article reported on the elimination of abortion services at Swedish Hospital as a condition of joining forces with Providence Health System, a Catholic-run hospital ("Swedish will drop elective abortions to seal deal").

It noted that Swedish Hospital performs fewer than 50 abortions per year. Most likely, those abortions are for women whose life or health is seriously compromised by a pregnancy, or for whom abortion presents special health risks.

The elimination of these medically indicated and necessary abortions by a Catholic entity goes against the grain of all understanding of what compassion as well as a commitment to women's health should mean for a Catholic institution.

While such a condition would be disturbing if the two hospitals were actually joining together, it is especially disturbing in this case.

These hospitals are not merging. Providence is actually selling out to Swedish. But in the end, it seems that Swedish is selling out Seattle's women.

Frances Kissling
President, Catholics for a Free Choice
Washington, D.C.

This letter appeared in the 12 March 2000 edition of the Seattle Times.