Wisconsin News

About 100 gather in protest of the hospital abortion issue

People line the street outside Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare

More than 100 gather in protest of the hospital abortion issue

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - More than 100 people lined the street in protest of the hospital abortion issue in La Crosse Wednesday night.

Protesters have been holding signs outside of Mayo Clinic Health System since March after a couple say they were given the option of an abortion during a high-risk pregnancy by a Rochester-based doctor.

One woman even traveled from hours away just to join the protest.

"I just came today, I have been here a few other times," said Diane Dorman, a pro-life activist.

Dorman is from Boyd, Wisconsin, which is about two hours away.

"It's a long drive for me, so I come when I can stay a long time, when I feel like it can be meaningful," said Dorman.

But Dorman said that the two-hour drive is nothing when it comes to fighting for what she believes in.

"From the very beginning, I've come to realize that life begins at the moment of conception," said Dorman. "It's unfathomable that a doctor here would actually refer people to himself at another hospital to actually perform an abortion."

Chris Hoover decided to join the protest for the first time on Wednesday, but it's for a different reason.

"I just want there to be another side to the story," said Hoover.

For Hoover, his story is a personal one.

"My wife has pre-cancer in her uterus," said Hoover.

Hoover and his wife have health insurance through Mayo Clinic Health System.

If his wife were to get pregnant, for her health, it may not be safe to keep the baby.

"Obviously I want it to be the absolute last choice," said Hoover. "But I want all of my options to be there and I want my doctor to be informed."

Hoover and Dorman may never see eye-to-eye, but they do have one thing in common, and that is standing up for what they believe in.

La Crosse Bishop William Callahan did release a statement in regards to the protest. The statement reads, "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 Bishop also says he would like the ethics committees at the hospital to have regular meetings to review and evaluate procedures at the hospital to make sure they are following Catholic principles.

Mayo Clinic Health System also provided News 8 with a statement. It reads, "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." -Tim Johnson, M.D., CEO of Franciscan Healthcare.

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