Albany -- March 1999 -- Bracing for an assault on Catholic health care, church leaders on Tuesday vowed to fight any effort to force their hospitals to perform abortions, in conflict with their religious beliefs.
Cardinal John O'Connor, archbishop of New York, and Albany Roman Catholic Bishop Howard J. Hubbard said abortion activists are behind an effort to require Catholic and some other religious-afiliated hospitals to perform abortions that are contrary to the teachings of the church.
"There are those in the state of New York trying very, very hard to insist, to demand that either we reject our principles or we will be driven out of business," O'Connor said at a news conference Tuesday. "We will fight against any efforts to try to emasculate the integrity of our approach to the human person."
O'Connor was in Albany Tuesday to stump for the New York State Catholic Conference's legislative agenda. Prominent on that agenda is resisting legislation "which threatens the Catholic health care mission."
O'Connor was responding to numerous pro-abortion groups that have been pressuring Catholic hospitals to perform abortions following the merging of a non-Catholic hospital that performs abortions into a Catholic hospital that doesn't. In many cases, the smaller, non-Catholic hospitals cease performing abortions.