20 Cath. Law. 317 (1974)
Compelling Hospitals to Provide Abortion Services

handle is hein.journals/cathl20 and id is 329 raw text is: COMPELLING HOSPITALS
TO PROVIDE ABORTION
SERVICES
MARTIN F. MCKERNAN, JR.*
I'd like to talk about four areas: the first is the New Jersey case, Doe
v. Bridgeton Hospital Association,' the second is an analysis of the twin
opinions of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade2 and Doe v. Bolton,3 vis-d-
vis the compulsion of health care facilities to provide abortion services, the
third is the concept of state action in this particular area, and the fourth
is a suggestive preventive matter for health care facilities which desire not
to permit the performance of elective abortions.
The first then is a discussion of the case of Doe v. Bridgeton Hospital
Association, which arose suddenly last summer when, on a Wednesday
afternoon after three women had been denied elective abortions in three
hospitals in South Jersey, their attorneys sought and obtained a temporary
restraining order against the implementation of hospital policies which
allowed only therapeutic abortions. Wednesday evening the attorneys for
these three hospitals, joined as amicus curiae by the New Jersey Hospital
Association, appealed that decision to a single judge of the Appellate Divi-
sion of the Superior Court of New Jersey. Now I realize that the procedural
niceties are different in the various states, but I think that the whole
concept is somewhat of general application.
The single appellate judge, finding that having a child was not irrepar-
able harm, stayed the order of the lower court. On Thursday morning the
case was heard by the full panel of the Appellate Division which sustained
the judge's stay of the lower court order. The case was taken to the New
Jersey Supreme Court which refused to tamper with the decision of the
Appellate Division and remanded the case for further consideration and a
full hearing. So, in any event, the abortions did not take place in these
three hospitals and the case is now before the Superior Court in Atlantic
County. We go to trial on June 3rd. It is a unique case in that it is, to my
knowledge, the first time that a nonprivate hospital with no religious
connection has been sued to allow the performance of abortions in its

* Special Counsel to New Jersey Catholic Hospital Association.
130 N.J. Super. 416, 327 A.2d 448 (1974).
2 410 U.S. 113 (1973).
3 410 U.S. 179 (1973).

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