12 May 2023
The ACT Government has announced plans to take over Calvary Public Hospital, Bruce, following an inquiry into abortion access in the territory.
The decision comes only a month after the government inquiry described the hospital as “problematic … due to an overriding religious ethos.”
The report argued that: “The medical care limited by Calvary’s Catholic ethos has implications for life-saving reproductive care beyond the provision of abortion.”
A submission to the inquiry said, “It is intensely problematic for the ACT to be reliant on a public hospital that will not provide termination of pregnancy services, and whose management (and no doubt many staff) are opposed to providing it on religious grounds, and where those grounds come with an implicit moral judgement.”
The ACT Government has also announced it plans to spend $1 billion to build a new hospital on the site with construction set to begin as early as 2025.
Canberra-Goulburn Archbishop Christopher Prowse said he was “totally stunned and shocked” by the decision.
“There has been no formal contact with the Archdiocese, nor has any reason been given,” he said.
“The lack of transparency of the ACT Government raises several questions and concerns. It is a very sad day when governments can simply decide to mount a take-over of any enterprise they like without any justification.”
“This is certainly a worrying precedent.”
Former Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn Vicar General Fr Tony Percy is leading a petition to