The fringe group, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is attacking Otero County again. This time, the extremist dark money organization is triggered after the announcement Alamogordo’s Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center (GCRMC) is joining the CHRISTUS Health group, which is Catholic. The health group, which is based in Irving, Texas, runs 600 successful facilities in the country, including in Santa Fe, many of them being top-rated.
GCRMC CEO Jim Heckert said the merger would create $100 million in new investment over the next decade.
In a hostage letter typical of the group, the ACLU claimed the hospital’s merger must incorporate abortions and “LGBTQ+ inclusive” services, “including gender affirming care for transgender patients, and end-of-life care options.”
“We firmly believe in the fundamental right to religious exercise and expression, and we have a long history of defending that right,” claimed ACLU’ of New Mexico’s “Reproductive Rights and Gender Equity” managing attorney Ellie Rushforth.
“However, religious freedom does not give a health care system the right to limit information and access to basic health care by imposing a narrow set of directives on everyone. The hospital should seek feedback from their community and take more time to consider the potential risks posed by this transaction to their patients and health care providers.”
Religious freedom guarantees a private non-profit hospital to do whatever it so chooses regarding its beliefs. But the ACLU believes that “religious exercise” in America now must be limited if that religious belief includes pro-life, anti-transgenderism aspects.
At a recent meeting, the Otero County Commission met to reject a proposal to involve the state attorney general in investigating the merger. Instead, the Commission is working on a letter of support for the hospital’s union with CHRISTUS.