Catholic Healthcare Network Provides Abortions through Partner
The Biden administration is earning a poor reputation among people of faith for injecting its radical political agenda into American healthcare. Believers are rightly outraged that the administration and its allies are pushing a dangerous social ideology in Catholic healthcare systems across the nation. A recent report reveals that CommonSpirit Health, America’s most prominent Catholic healthcare network, has caved to the White House’s political objectives by partnering with Tia, a women’s “health” clinic offering “virtual medication abortion services.” The Catholic healthcare network provides abortions indirectly through this partnership. Catholic medical institutions must stop playing second fiddle to the administration by providing chemical abortion. This drug flies in the face of the healing purpose of medicine and violates Catholic moral teaching.
Tia began as a mobile app called “Ask Tia” that was launched in 2017 for the precise purpose of answering “questions about birth control, [and] sexual health.” She sought “to help young women better understand their health in a body-positive, sex-positive, judgment-free space.” Long before CommonSpirit’s partnership with Tia, the app developers publicly announced their intentions to “provide abortion services” in the future, an announcement of which CommonSpirit was no doubt aware.
Abortion Services are Expanding
Shortly thereafter, Tia did, in fact, begin offering chemical abortion access at their California and New York locations. And now, they are expanding their abortion services to Arizona in partnership with CommonSpirit’s sprawling network in the Grand Canyon state. CommonSpirit’s most recent tax forms reveal it has a 65 percent ownership stake in Tia’s Scottsdale, Arizona, clinic.
CommonSpirit’s participation in Tia’s drive to deliver chemical abortion to Arizona women and girls is not only out of step with its broader mission to “make the healing presence of God known in our world” but blatantly ignores the Catholic Church’s teachings on the dignity of human life.
The Catholic Church recognizes the simple fact that chemical abortion not only destroys an innocent, unique, and unrepeatable life in the womb, but also poses significant physical, social, and emotional risks to women.
Abortion Medication has Deadly Side Effects
One out of every five women taking the deadly pill suffers from its dangerous physical side effects, including violent hemorrhaging. Women who take chemical abortion pills are also 50 percent more likely to need emergency treatment than those who undergo surgical abortions. In fact, the rate of chemical abortion-related emergency room visits jumped by over 500 percent between 2022 and 2015.
Increased use of chemical abortion pills, especially under Tia’s telehealth appointment framework, also removes vital doctor supervision and opens the door to forced abortions. The unfortunate reality is that some women who take abortion pills are pressured to do so against their will by malicious traffickers and abusive partners. The chance to see a physician in person may be their only opportunity to escape their situation. On top of that, eliminating an in-person medical evaluation prior to taking chemical abortion pills makes it impossible to accurately date and locate a pregnancy via ultrasound which is crucial for avoiding severe complications or even death. Emotionally, women in general report the experience of chemical abortion leaves them feeling silenced, regretful, and faced with the grief of losing their unborn children.
We Need to Pressure Healthcare Networks to Act Ethically
Religious and nonreligious patients alike should be upset at the relentless efforts of the Biden administration and its far-left allies to change Catholic medical institutions’ identity fundamentally. They are pressuring them to provide procedures destructive to women’s health and at odds with their faith. For years, Americans have seen the federal government impose its extreme social ideologies on patients and providers unchecked.
President Obama’s HHS unfairly forced Catholic nuns to pay for birth control and abortifacients in their health insurance plans, causing them to spend years defending their religious beliefs in court before they prevailed over the unjust mandate at the Supreme Court. Just this year, Biden’s HHS redefined the meaning of the phrase “on the basis of sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity. This move forces religious medical professionals to conduct gender-transition procedures contrary to their beliefs.
These egregious examples highlight the need for ethical healthcare alternatives that give people of faith somewhere to turn for life-affirming, holistic care provided by doctors and nurses committed to healing instead of harming the patients who seek their help.
For this very reason, we established Solidarity HealthShare. We wanted patients to have somewhere to turn for comprehensive healthcare in keeping with their deeply held beliefs. We pray that Catholic healthcare institutions and providers will recommit themselves to the teachings of the Church and redirect their medical expertise toward its true purpose: the protection and preservation of human life.
Chris Faddis is the president of Solidarity HealthShare, a healthcare sharing ministry guided by the moral teachings of the Catholic Church that negotiates directly with providers to ensure delivery of high-quality and affordable, life-affirming healthcare for the more than 46,000 Members it has served since 2016.