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Major O.C. Hospital Allowed To Continue Abortion Ban

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One of the biggest hospitals in Orange County can continue to refuse to give abortions as long as it helps women seeking them to find services elsewhere, according to the state.

The agreement between the state and Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach was announced Friday after an investigation into allegations that Hoag misrepresented its partnership with a Catholic group and was limiting women’s health services, according to the Los Angeles Times. Hoag last summer announced it would cease elective abortions shortly after entering into a partnership with St. Joseph Health, though it denied at the time that the partnership with the Catholic organization had anything to do with it.

Hospital officials had previously said the hospital wouldn’t give elective abortions because of low demand. Interviews and documents showed that actually was a provision of the partnership with St. Joseph.

Here’s what Special Assistant Atty. Gen. Jill Habig had to say about the investigation:

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“We spent several months investigating those allegations and negotiating with Hoag. The agreement addresses the concerns that were raised and takes several affirmative steps to ensure women's access to reproductive healthcare."

Women’s health advocates protested the change last summer, and doctors said they’d been told the partnership wouldn’t lead to them having to drop services. Habig did not confirm if the investigation found that the hospital, in fact, gave fewer than 100 abortions a year as they claimed.

Under the agreement, the hospital must continue to provide all reproductive health services except for abortions until 2033.