The California State Senate is moving at full speed to pass the Equitable and Inclusive UC Healthcare Act. This legislation seeks to break existing partnerships between the University of California and hospitals, particularly Catholic ones, that refuse to provide elective abortions, sex reassignment surgeries and sterilizations.

If the Equitable and Inclusive UC Healthcare Act were to become law, UCLA would have to break its contract with Dignity Health that operates several specialty clinics.

UC Davis would also have to terminate its joint run cancer treatment center with Mercy Medical Center in Merced, while St. Mary’s Medical Center could no longer administer San Francisco’s only inpatient adolescent psychiatry program with UC San Francisco.

Ultimately, all of these would leave patients without access to life-saving treatments. “It’s only going to take away [health care] from the poor and vulnerable,” said Lori Dangberg, vice-president of the Alliance of Catholic Health Care.

To further this point, Dr. Carrie Byington, executive vice-president of UC Health, said that “low-income and rural communities and people of color” would bear the brunt of the reduced access to care that could be “life threatening [in some instances] and exacerbate health disparities.”

It is a sad commentary on our society when those who harbor an animus against Catholicism do not care who gets hurt, including the poor. These are bad omens for Californians and beyond.

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