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The ACLU seems to think, as expressed in a new report, it’s pretty awful that religious people are the ones who so frequently care for the sick — that approximately 1 in 6 hospital beds in the U.S. is in a Catholic medical facility.

Why is letting Christians run a hospital such a bad thing? Jesus healed the sick. His followers in America and all over the world have long followed his example by founding hospitals, often at low or no cost to the poor.

As the report reveals, the ACLU’s anti-religious obsession essentially comes down to the one issue that progressives seem to care about more than anything (or anyone): abortion.

To the ACLU, it’s not enough that it’s legal to have both abortion facilities and pro-life religious hospitals. The ACLU insists that those working in the faith-based hospitals must stoop to actually killing babies themselves.

That goes far beyond the borders of even the Roe v. Wade decision. The 1973 Supreme Court, even in defining its newly invented constitutional “right” to abortion, declared that no individual should be forced to participate in abortions, and health care providers should be able to decide for themselves whether to abort a child.

But such legal niceties don’t matter to the ACLU and its allies. They’re too busy campaigning to rewrite constitutions, state statutes, medical ethics, and cultural perceptions to ensure that each of us embraces a growing list of progressive darlings — abortion, assisted suicide, “open” bathrooms — or gets branded a bigot.

Blinded by its own religio-phobia, which led the ACLU to file suit against one Catholic hospital chain only to recently lose, the ACLU report ignores the fact that millions of Americans actually prefer treatment in a hospital that takes both their physical health and their faith seriously. A hospital committed to protecting human life as a matter of principle, rather than destroying it as a matter of convenience.

By forcing the staff of these hospitals to abandon their beliefs and kill some of their unborn patients, the ACLU would deny patients that life-affirming option and force those who founded these hospitals to betray the very thing that led them to build such facilities in the first place.

“We do not go to a hospital for a sermon,” says a lobbyist at the Center for Reproductive Rights; hospital employees “are there for work, and not worship.” But many people choose health professionals based on their common values and their determination to serve God in both their work and their worship. Neither CRR nor the ACLU’s lawyers should dictate otherwise.

Some people, facing life-threatening medical choices and treatment, want care from a facility that appreciates the indivisible connection between body and soul. Why should the freedom for 1 in 6 hospitals to offer that option be considered a threat, instead of a blessing?

Matt Bowman is senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom and represented pro-life physician groups who opposed the ACLU’s lawsuit against Trinity Health Corp.

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