Colorado Attorney General John Suthers issued a legal opinion last week approving the sale of two Colorado hospitals to Catholic organizations. The sale would result in the halting of services banned by the Catholic Church, including emergency contraception, abortion, and some forms of sterilization, such as tubal ligation and vasectomies, according to the Denver Post. End-of-life procedures, like taking a patient off life support in accordance with family wishes, are also at risk.
The sale has come under fire from local community organizations and health professionals, according to the Rocky Mountain News. A coalition of these groups filed a lawsuit in December to block the sale. The case, which is still pending, will not be affected by Suthers’ legal opinion.
“When people have to go to the hospital, they don’t check to see what services are available,” Frances Koncilja, an attorney for several of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, told the Boulder Daily Camera. ‘In this case, the hospital would be able to say, ‘You can’t have (a procedure) here,’ and they’ll pack you off to another hospital. I don’t think the Pope and the bishops should be telling me what kind of medical care I should get.”