ABC-TV, continuing its assault on Catholic sensibilities, used its July 21 “ABC World News Tonight With Peter Jennings” to deliver what the Catholic League termed “a biased attack against Catholic hospitals.”
Focusing on mergers between Catholic and community hospitals, the segment raised dire warnings about “a virtual (Catholic) monopoly on health care” with “severe consequences for patients”—i.e., lack of abortions or contraceptives.
In a letter to ABC News president David Westin, league president William Donohue criticized the program for ignoring legitimate health care issues while serving “the narrow pro-abortion ideology of those such as Frances Kissling, whose bogus paper organization, Catholics for a Free Choice, you inexplicably chose to highlight.
“The fact that Roe v. Wade permits a person to have an abortion does not require private health care facilities to perform abortions. If privately run hospitals choose to forego certain procedures…in order to avail themselves and their patients of the resources and quality care of a Catholic health care facility, that is…exercising their freedom of choice.
“An objective report would have balanced discussion of the few ‘services’ which will not be available at such merged institutions with a listing of the many health care services which will be maintained and enhanced because Catholic hospitals are willing to merge their resources with those of floundering community hospitals.
“You owe your viewers a follow-up story in which the positive contributions of Catholic health care facilities…are given adequate airing.”