19 civil-rights are concerned that three healthcare clinics that have opened in the Portland, Ore., area are part of an affiliation between Providence Health & Services, a Catholic system, and Walgreens. Three other Providence clinics have opened in Seattle-area Walgreens stores, with up to 19 others planned in the two states.
This is the first time that the huge drugstore chain has partnered with a Catholic hospital system.
The 19 groups worry about the expansion of health care guided by a religious doctrine, that, in Providence’s case, includes opposition to abortion, pharmaceutical-based birth control and aid in dying.
“In our states, we have consistently seen that when secular entities join with religious health systems, the services, information or referrals provided at the secular entity become limited by religious doctrine,” the joint letter from the 19 groups said. They asked Walgreens to clarify its policy.