Missouri Catholics respond to MU abortion controversy
JEFFERSON CITY - The Executive Director of the Missouri Catholic Conference (MCC), Mike Hoey, drafted an open-letter to MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin responding to an abortion controversy surrounding the University Hospital.
The controversy started after it was discovered that an abortion doctor was given privileges to regular access at the University Hospital. At a senate hearing Tuesday, Senator Kurt Schaefer accused MU of using taxpayer money to pay for abortions. However Planned Parenthood said the abortion doctor would only use the hospital if a woman needed an emergency surgical abortion. Planned parenthood also accused Schaefer of using the hearing as a platform to promote his own political agenda.
"The University shouldn't be giving hospital privileges to an out-of-town doctor whose sole reason for coming into Columbia is to perform abortions," Hoey said.
Hoey said he is calling many churches in the state to unite over this controversy.
"We are in the initial stages of talking to Catholics, and we'll be talking to the Baptist convention and other people," Hoey said. "This is important. This is an important moral issue."
He said he loves MU, but he feels these accusations have tarnished the school's image.
"It stains the reputation of a great university," Hoey said. "The University Hospital should be saving lives, not encouraging the ending of innocent lives through abortion."
However, Hoey said people should not dwell on any "past mistakes," but stay optimistic and focus on resolving the conflict.
"I'm afraid that some people may home in on the mistakes that were made, and just start scapegoating people," Hoey said. "We're not interested in scapegoating anybody. Everybody makes mistakes. Let's correct the mistakes, and let's move forward."
Hoey said he understands Loftin will need time to think and make a decision. But in the mean time, he intends to spread awareness of the controversy.
"We're going to continue to make people aware of it, and we're going to continue to urge the chancellor and the university to revoke the privileges of this abortion doctor."
Hoey said he is confident MU will "make the right decision."
"By the time the Tigers run out of the tunnel for the first football game, I hope this whole shadow of controversy is behind us," Hoey said.
Here is Hoey's entire open-letter.