Montana’s religious extremists may have gone a bridge too far last week as they are now implying that Montana’s Catholic Hospitals support publicly funded abortion. What has led them to this outrageous claim?
Last week, in a carefully crafted and thoughtful response to the extremists’ previous assertion that expansion increased abortion access, Karen Costello, President of Holy Rosary Healthcare offered this response: “Indeed, we would not have supported the Medicaid reform legislation last session if the legislation provided for taxpayer funded abortions. Those who argue otherwise are incorrect.” And there you have it, from the perspective of Montana’s Catholic Hospitals, expansion did not increase abortion funding.
And, until April Fools’ Day, this was also the position the Montana Family Foundation had taken: “Neither the 2015 nor the 2019 Medicaid Expansion bill affected a change in this (abortion) coverage.”
But the need to remain financially solvent and fund the director’s salary has a way of distorting the truth and, in what can only be surmised as a reaction to donor outrage, the Montana Family Foundation diametrically altered their position. We see the evidence of this vacillation in their most recent memorandum on the subject. “This memorandum addresses whether Montana’s Medicaid Expansion program increases abortion availability under Medicaid. Although as shown below the analysis requires considerable scrutiny to unpack, the ultimate answer is yes.”
I hope the phrase “considerable scrutiny to unpack” raised your eyebrows as much as it did mine. Hell, mine were so far up my forehead that they almost reached peak Pelosi. This phrase, in any memorandum pretending to be a legal analysis, should be understood for exactly what it really is – an excuse for the speciousness of the argument that follows. But don’t take my word for it, read the memo yourself and appreciate the tortured logic its author must employ to reach the conclusion that expansion increases abortion access.
And so we find ourselves in a position where we could choose to believe that the nuns and other caregivers that comprise our state’s Catholic Hospitals are acting true to their faith, or we could accept the ever evolving incoherent logic and inconsistent position of a fringy, cash-starved, evangelical group. Given these choices, ol’ Rooster is going to put his faith in the truthfulness of nuns – rather than accept the twisted argument of a donor driven political action committee.
~ Rooster Cogburn