The name of Sister Carol Keehan might be familiar to those who closely followed the health care debate. President of the Catholic Health Association and a member of the order of the Daughters of Charity, Keehan first drew the ire of conservative Catholics by her public support of Obama’s planned healthcare reform (http://www.americamagazine.org/blog/entry.cfm?id=52811576-3048-741E-1065143912120232). Now Keehan is in the news again, this time for her defense of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
If you follow reproductive health news, St. Joseph’s will be a familiar name for you. The hospital became the target of an investigation led by Bishop Thomas Olmstead after its board allowed a life-saving abortion to be performed on a patient. According to Olmstead, a woman’s life was not an adequate reason to abort.
Keehan disagrees, and has released a public statement supporting the hospital and condemning Olmstead’s decision to revoke its ability to advertise itself as a Catholic hospital. The debate here cannot be underestimated: Olmstead and his backers are attempting to define Catholicism, and under that definition, women will continue to be denied lifesaving medical treatment.
So high praise to Sister Carol, for her clear commitment to her vow to help the poor, and her courageous stand against Bishop Olmstead. Link to the story here: http://www.ncronline.org/news/catholic-health-association-backs-phoenix-hospital.