Catholic hospital won’t say if abortionist still has admitting privileges
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX -- An excommunicated abortionist used the admitting privileges granted him by a Catholic hospital in the last year to perform what could have amounted to thousands of abortions in Corpus Christi – and LifeSiteNews has learned that he is still active in San Antonio.
The Coastal Birth Control Center told Life Dynamics that it was ending all abortions at its facility because of the retirement of its abortionist, Dr. Eduardo Aquino. The local chapter of Bound 4 Life verified the news, as well. “Our chapter spokesperson, Jerin Knight called the abortion clinic and asked them herself. Two staff members informed her that they were no longer providing abortion services in Corpus Christi,” the group said.
“After 35+ years and more than 65,000 estimated babies murdered in Corpus Christi, at long last the final abortion clinic in South Texas is shut down.”
Aquino was one of the few abortionists in the state to have admitting privileges at a local hospital, as required under a Texas law passed a year ago. In his case, he was listed as one of dozens of OB/GYNs affiliated with Christus Spohn Memorial Hospital, a Catholic health care facility that says it exists to “extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.”
Aquino's status as an abortionist is well-known. In February 1990, Rene H. Gracida, then-Bishop of Corpus Christi, publicly excommunicated Aquino for his lack of repentance. The excommunication was reported by the New York Times.
The hospital's actions, which effectively allowed Aquino to continue performing abortions, outraged the local pro-life movement. Pastor Daniel Sem of the Sovereign Grace Community Church led pickets of the hospital, including a well-exposed protest over Mother's Day weekend, and an online petition at Change.org gathered hundreds of signatures.
The website “Repent Spohn” greeted the news of Aquino's retirement by saying: “After 35+ years and more than 65,000 estimated babies murdered in Corpus Christi, at long last the final abortion clinic in South Texas is shut down.”
While Aquino has closed his office in that city, he may still have admitting privileges at the Catholic hospital. LifeSiteNews contacted Christus Spohn numerous times to ask whether Dr. Aquino still had admitting privileges. Over the course of a week, the hospital repeatedly refused to confirm or deny.
“All I can confirm is that based on news reports last week, it appears Dr. Aquino has retired and is no longer practicing in Corpus Christi,” Steven Alford, a communications specialist at Christus Spohn Health System, told LifeSiteNews by e-mail. “Any further questions about his practice would need to be directed to Dr. Aquino.”
If he retains admitting privileges, he could resume offering abortions in the city at any time.
Although media sources reported that Dr. Aquino has retired, it is more accurate to say he has shifted his work to his office in San Antonio.
Alamo Women's Reproductive Services in San Antonio confirmed to LifeSiteNews that Dr. Eduardo Aquino is still performing abortions there.
According to U.S. News and World Report, Aquino is able to do so because he has admitting privileges at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. The hospital's website says it devotes itself to "serving humanity to honor God," calling its work “a healing ministry, a sacred trust, a Holy Ground.”
LifeSiteNews was unable to reach Methodist Hospital to confirm his current status.
The admitting privileges requirement – which has the unanimous support of 32 medical groups including the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists – has been instrumental in closing numerous abortion facilities in Texas and other states that have adopted such requirements. Last month, the Northpark Medical Group, an abortion facility based in Dallas, closed. The Catholic Diocese of Dallas held a Mass and memorial service on the grounds on June 10.
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“When H.B. 2 was passed here in Texas, immediately, I mean literally within days, one-third of all the abortion clinics closed,” Life Dynamics President Mark Crutcher said. “Half of the abortion clinics that existed on the day that H.B. 2 was passed are now gone.”
Crutcher said Life Dynamics sent a letter to every hospital administrator in Texas to think twice before accepting abortionists under their protective cover. He said he aimed to “discourage them from granting privileges and be on the lookout for new doctors filing for hospital privileges who are not telling them they are working in an abortion clinic.”
“Before you let them in, you better ask them if they are working in abortion, because you don’t want to drag this hospital into the abortion controversy,” he said.
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