NEWPORT BEACH, CA, June 26, 2013 ( – California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris could halt a pending hospital partnership or mandate that Presbyterian Hoag Hospital commit abortions as a condition of Harris’s approval of its partnership with Catholic St. Joseph’s hospital, reports the Los Angeles Times. 

Hoag hospital recently announced it would cease committing abortions as a condition of the partnership. 

Richard Afable, CEO of the Hoag-St. Joseph partnership, the Covenant Health Network, and a top St. Joseph executive said that ending Hoag’s “direct abortions” was a non-negotiable for St. Joseph’s. 


AG Harris previously OK’d the exit of Hoag from the abortion business, which it committed to during its negotiations for partnership with St. Joseph's.  However, Harris is now reportedly investigating allegations that Hoag has not fulfilled its conditions for allowing the abortion ban. 

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One of those conditions is that the hospital ensure that women, especially low-income women, still have access to abortions in the area the hospital serves.  

Harris is also reportedly investigating the allegation that Hoag misrepresented its abortion statistics with the alleged motive of minimizing the perceived demand for its involvement with abortion.  Hoag executives claimed that 100 abortions per year are committed on its premises, but Hoag doctors claim that, in reality, the number is much higher.  

Hoag Chief Executive Robert Braithwaite said that, although abortions will no longer be a part of Hoag’s scope of services, sterilizations and contraceptive consultations will remain. 

According to LA Times columnist Michael Hiltzik, Harris “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.”

AG Harris has a 100% score from NARAL Pro-choice America.


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