The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Proposed New Hospital in Maryland:
An Attack on Women’s Health

Jan 24, 2011

Maryland state regulators approved the first new hospital to be built in Montgomery County in 30 years.

Will this mean “improved” access to health care for county residents?

Not if you are a woman–since this is to be a Catholic hospital. If you are a woman, you will not have access to abortion, even in the case of rape or incest. You won’t have access to a whole range of medical services: no treatment for ectopic pregnancies (which could amount to murder), no tubal ligations, no in-vitro fertilizations.

Advocacy groups objected to this private hospital to be built on public land with public funding. Since it is owned and administered under Catholic religious doctrine and directives, it will exclude reproductive health care for women. The commission chairman said: “There are no state standards that require hospitals to offer such services.”

Let’s be clear. There will be no exceptions to the policies of this hospital regardless of the religious or non-religious background of the patient. A U.S. Catholic nun was excommunicated for approving an abortion for a woman suffering from pulmonary hypertension. This mother of four children would have died without this medical procedure. But the Catholic Church reached out and smashed the nun who chose life over death.

Not providing abortions–basic health care for women–is like not treating people for heart attacks, arguing it’s God’s will if you die. This is crazy, and best summed-up by an unidentified woman who said to the commissioners after the vote for the hospital: “Thank you all for deciding women are not people.”