An Orange County hospital will stop performing elective abortions after joining a Catholic hospital group, but officials there are saying that the decision was not forced upon them.
Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach recently partnered with St. Joseph Health.
Hoag officials said there was no pressure from the Catholic-based medical group, although their new relationship did factor into the decision.
On May 1, Hoag Hospital President Robert Braithwaite sent a letter to hospital employees stating that "as a as a result of the affiliation between Hoag and St Joseph Health ... direct abortions will no longer occur at Hoag."
Braithwaite spoke with NBC4 on Monday.
"We will continue to provide those types of services, abortion services, for situations hwere the mother's life is in peril or the fetus is already passed, died," he said. "We'll continue to do it in the case of rape and sexual assault. We have a firmer commitment for those services."
Hoag will continue to provide birth control and contraception services.