.- Claims made by a pro-life group that Providence Alaska Medical Center, a Catholic hospital, is performing abortions are "patently untrue," said Catholic League president William Donohue. For the past two years, Alaska Right to Life has become increasingly critical of the Providence and Archbishop Roger Schwietz of Anchorage, whose jurisdiction includes the hospital.
In 2003, Alaska Right to Life told Archbishop Schwietz that early inductions of labor were being performed at the health care facility, and that these were a form of abortion. He immediately declared a halt to the procedure.
After some study, the archbishop concluded that Catholic ethical principles were not being compromised, and he lifted the moratorium. He then asked Providence to work with the National Catholic Bioethics Center and leading Catholic bioethicist Dr. John Haas to make sure that its guidelines were airtight. The Catholic community was satisfied, but Alaska Right to Life continues to state its claim.
"It is patently untrue and grossly unfair to say that Providence Alaska Medical Center performs abortions and that Archbishop Roger Schwietz approves of them," said Donohue in a press release.
He added that the secular group's "intrusive manner" has "turned off" the League, as well as the Knights of Columbus and the Catholic Daughters of America.
Donohue said the "final straw" was when the group urged its members in April to appeal to the Vatican to intervene in this issue.
"This crosses the line," said Donohue. "A secular group like Alaska Right to Life ought to learn to mind its own business. Its reputation as a meddler does not help its cause."