LOS ANGELES -- The Roman Catholic bishop of Phoenix stripped a hospital of its Catholic affiliation Tuesday for performing an abortion last year that doctors said was needed to save the life of the mother.
Bishop Thomas Olmsted said he no longer had confidence that the administration of St. Joseph's Hospital would run it according to Catholic teachings, "and therefore this hospital cannot be considered Catholic." Leaders of the institution, founded in 1895 by a Catholic order, the Sisters of Mercy, said it would continue to operate "in the Catholic tradition" but without the official sanction of the church.
The hospital's president, Linda Hunt, said she was "deeply saddened" by Olmsted's decision, adding, "The fact that this situation stems from our decision to save a young woman's life is particularly sad."
St. Joseph's is run by San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West, which operates more than 40 hospitals and clinics in California, Arizona and Nevada.