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Birth control access for women in Oklahoma and several other states will be cut short as part of a new directive by a Catholic-affiliated healthcare firm that recently acquired another company.
The Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise reported on Monday that as a result of St. Louis-based Ascension Health's acquisition of its parent company, gynecologists affiliated with Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville will no longer be allowed to issue birth control without diagnosing patients with a separate condition.
"I was told that my physician has been instructed that they can no longer write prescriptions for birth control as birth control," one woman, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Examiner-Enterprise. "This affects me because I take birth control as birth control. There are other ways to receive birth control, for example headaches, cramps, excessive bleeding - but I have none of those symptoms."
A representative of Jane Phillips refused to comment when contacted by The Raw Story Monday evening.
Jane Phillips' parent company, St. John Health System, was acquired by Ascension last year. A spokesperson for St. John released a statement saying, "Consistent with all Catholic health care organizations, St. John Health System operates in accordance with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Facilities."
Now, here's my question: Does anyone know for certain if the Bon Secour Hospital System adheres to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Facilities ?
Our local hospital -- Rappahannock General Hospital, Kilmarnock -- has now been incorporated into the Bon Secour system. Several local folks have asked hospital staff and board members about the Bon Secour policy on women's health issues, specifically, birth control pills and devices, and, abortions. The answers have been . . . well . . . let's be kind and say the answers have been uninformative.
The Bon Secour website is not helpful either.