SACRAMENTO, California, February 1st, 2011 ( – Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) has awarded a grant to a network of clinics that counts at least two abortion providers as members.

The organization has been under heavy scrutiny in recent months after St. Joseph’s Hospital in Phoenix, which is owned by CHW, performed a direct abortion.  Bishop Thomas Olmsted of Phoenix announced in December that because the hospital had refused to renounce the decision, he was revoking its Catholic status.

The same month, Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco, where Catholic Healthcare West is based, said he would be initiating a dialogue with the organization as a result of Bishop Olmsted’s concerns.

In the wake of this controversy, Catholic Healthcare West announced January 6 that they had dispersed nearly $1.2 million in grants to 35 non-profit organizations, including the Capitol Community Health Network (CCHN).

In a report released yesterday, California blogger Fr. John Malloy revealed that the CCHN network includes Planned Parenthood Mar Monte and Women’s Health Specialists.  The descriptions of each on the CCHN website make clear that they provide abortion.

Women’s Health Specialists’ “services” page lists a variety of contraceptives, and states that they offer abortion up to 18 weeks pregnancy, and will refer for later abortions.  They have a speakers bureau that offers workshops on a variety of issues including abortion and “the Anti-Choice Movement and its effects on women reproductive rights.”

These groups’ level of involvement in CCHN is illustrated by the fact that a leader from each serves on CCHN’s board of directors – Shauna Heckert, executive director of Women’s Health Specialists; and Deborah Ortiz, vice-president of Planned Parenthood Monte Mar.

Additionally, five other CCHN members list that they provide “family planning” services – The Birthing Project, Health for All, Midtown Medical Center, Sacramento Community Clinic, and Sacramento Native American Health Center.

CCHN, however, is not the only grantee that is problematic from the standpoint of the Catholic Church.  Catholic Healthcare West also awarded a grant to CommuniCare Health Centers, which, besides offering “family planning,” states on its website that they offer emergency contraception to teens.  This drug, also known as the “morning-after pill,” is an abortifacient because it acts in part by preventing a newly-conceived child from implanting in the mother’s womb.

Another grant was awarded to Weave, Inc., a group working with victims of violence and sexual assault.  They link to Planned Parenthood as a resource for teens.

In December, a report by American Life League revealed that Catholic Healthcare West has a long history of violating Catholic moral teaching.  They found that one CHW hospital promoted Planned Parenthood on its website, for example, and another offered contraceptives.  Twelve CHW members had been found to perform tubal ligations, and 20 members referred for vasectomies.

LifeSiteNews did not hear back from Catholic Healthcare West by press time.

See Fr. John Malloy’s report on the Catholic Healthcare West grants here.