U of L Finds a Religion It Can Live With

Looks like the University of Louisville Hospital solution to its merger issues was to find a new religion. It announced a deal today to send women who need tubal ligations and other services prohibited by the Catholics to Baptist East.

That’s right. Catholic Health Initiatives, which wants to merge with University Hospital and provide much-needed capital for research and the hiring of doctors, won’t allow the procedures done inside its doors, based on religious principles. So U of L says it’s worked out a deal with Baptist, which has a more liberal stance on providing women the care they need.

This deal’s been in the works for weeks, as U of L desperately wants to complete the merger. Women who want tubal ligations immediately after childbirth will deliver at Baptist.

There’s been no immediate reaction from government officials, who’ve been asking questions and making life miserable for U of L officials. The city and the state, which provide funding for indigent care at University, must OK the merger deal. And they’d been hearing plenty of objections from constituents about the prospect of a religious principle guiding decision-making on care at a public hospital.

Whether shipping the services over to Baptist will solve the objections to the merger remains to be seen. In July, attorney general Jack Conway said he would investigate details of the merger. Gov. Steve Beshear and Mayor Greg Fischer have also expressed concern.