The La Crosse Bishop says allegations that a doctor who works part-time at Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare is recommending abortions is scandalous.
Leif and Karen Arvidson began regular pickets outside Mayo-Franciscan March 5, based on their contention that Dr. Carl Rose of Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota had advised an abortion in 2012. They want the hospital to stop working with Rose.
Neither the system nor the clinic has said whether Rose performs abortions.
Bishop Callahan gave a statement to hospital administrators late last month that says in part, "It is a scandal [...] when any Catholic healthcare institution associates itself with individuals who perform or counsel at the institution practices incompatible with the Gospel of Life and Catholic moral teaching."
His statement goes on to say, "it must be noted [...] that abortions have not been performed in the past, nor will they be tolerated in the future at Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare."
The protesters say they just want care consistent with their beliefs.
"We understand that we still need to have a public movement to push the administration to finally make the decision to sever ties with the abortion providers," said Leif Arvidson.
A representative for the diocese says the bishop's statement is not their official stance.
They released their own statement saying in part, "We are convinced that all parties will continue to work towards the common goals that support the [...] teachings of the Church regarding Catholic healthcare."
Mayo Clinic Health System also released a statement saying in part, "the organization is very appreciative of the Bishop's support of the Catholic hospital in La Crosse [...] Franciscan Healthcare remains committed to compassionate, high-quality health care for all of our patients in accord with its Catholic mission and our legal and medical obligations."