CV NEWS FEED // The largest U.S. Catholic health network, CommonSpirit, partnered with a women’s health telemedicine company that later began offering abortion pills, according to a new report by the Lepanto Institute.
CommonSpirit partnered with Tia Women’s Health in 2021, and following the overturn of Roe v. Wade, Tia Women’s Health began to offer medical abortions. Tia is a virtual and in-person women’s health company.
Since its founding in 2019, CommonSpirit has become one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the nation. The network has more than 1,000 care sites in 21 states and serves 20 million patients across America, according to its website.
Tia Women’s Health signed CommonSpirit’s Statement of Common Values when it partnered with the Catholic organization. The statement explains that CommonSpirit does not provide abortions or IVF.
In its report, the Lepanto Institute argued that Tia’s partnership with CommonSpirit enabled the pro-abortion company to grow into the major abortion provider it is today.
“Tia Women’s Health provides contraception and now abortion in a bid to become what appears to be Planned Parenthood 2.0,” the Lepanto statement says. “And it is doing so with the help of the largest Catholic health network in the United States.”
The report argued that the partnership was “designed to dramatically expand Tia’s impact by expanding its physical presence around the country.”
“Even though Tia has only recently begun providing medical abortions, its intention to expand the abortion industry through these clinics has been a matter of public record since its inception,” continued the Lepanto report.
The partnership created controversy on both ends of the political spectrum.
Pro-abortion advocates questioned if the partnership would limit Tia’s ability to provide abortions.
“Everything is controlled by Tia and as a result of that we have total control over the practice of medicine,” Carolyn Witte, co-founder and CEO of Tia, told the business magazine FastCo.
In a March 2021 press release, CommonSpirit said:
Tia’s signature Well-Woman experience includes regular primary care checkups and annual gynecological exams, while also offering mental health support, nutrition counseling, acupuncture, along with other evidence-backed wellness services.
Rich Roth, CommonSpirit’s chief strategic innovation officer, added:
Tia’s approach to care is designed to make it easier for women to access health care and is directly aligned to our values to provide compassionate, unified care that is centered on excellence.
However, Lepanto observes in its report that Tia has been publicly pro-abortion since before the beginning of the partnership.
“We’re ready to do our part to support our patients with access to medication abortion via our virtual care team in California and New York, where it remains legal, and via a local care partner on-the-ground in Arizona, where we’ll continue to monitor local laws closely,” the company said following Roe’s overturn.
In addition, a June report by the Lepanto Institute found that numerous CommonSpirit Catholic hospitals offer abortifacients, “transgender” surgeries and hormone treatments, contraception, and sterilization surgeries.
CommonSpirit and Tia did not respond to CatholicVote’s requests for comments by the time of publication.
By a vote in June 2023, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops decided that Catholic hospitals could not carry out so-called “sex-change” surgeries.
Lepanto’s founder and president, Michael Hichborn, noted the lack of response from Church authorities.
“Despite performing sex-change surgeries and partnering with abortion providers, CommonSpirit’s wicked activities seem to be ignored,” said Hichborn. “One can only guess as to why this is the case, but to outward observers, it appears that the Vatican simply doesn’t care about this.”
Hichborn also observed some cardinals pushing for “transgender” care, while other archbishops have moved to defend church teaching on the matter, especially in Catholic institutions.
“There is a clear struggle taking place within the USCCB over the medical directives regarding sex-change operations,” Hichborn said. “What looks to us like foot dragging is in reality a struggle over a stark line drawn in the sand.”