Remember hearing stories about ancient civilization throwing women into volcanos to save their towns? That type of sacrifice lives on today in the town of Putnam.
The CEO of Day Kimball Healthcare, Kyle Kramer, is claiming that the only way to save the hospital is to be acquired by Covenant Health, an out-of-state Catholic conglomerate.
All of the providers would be required to follow the Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs). No reproductive health care – meaning no forms of birth control whatsoever. No appropriate pain management at the end of life. No accurate therapeutic help for the LGBTQ community. The ERDs also bans providers from referring to services that could provide the care needed.
In the Putnam area, 70 percent of the medical services are provided by Day Kimball Healthcare and there is very limited public transportation for people to go elsewhere.
Politicians in the state including Gov. Ned Lamont, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, and Attorney General William Tong have all made statements claiming Connecticut will be a sanctuary state for women. If the state allows this deal to go through, it would be state sanctioned oppression of women (and gays and those is hospice care).
While those in public office are saying they are aware of the deal and are monitoring the situation, it is time for them to put their words into action and stop the transaction. Northeast Connecticut would be like another state entirely, one where our farm animals would have more reproductive choices than women. The Connecticut residents here must have the same access to healthcare as anyone else in the state.
The decision of whether this deal will be approved is in the hands of the Office of Health Strategy (OHS). We have been sending our comments to CONComment@ct.gov, docket #32538. Sixteen elected state representatives have already voiced their concerns to OHS opposing this deal. Over 1,800 people have signed a petition opposing the acquisition. Several of us at savedkh.org have found several other options that would allow for essential health services to continue without this deal.
We are calling on those in leadership in the state to shut down this acquisition. There are no workarounds. These will make women second class citizens. The requirements OHS places on transactions such as this sunset after set amounts of time. The only way to make good on promises to protect women is to say no to Covenant Health.
Sacrificing women to save the town will not save the town. The problems of Day Kimball will still exist and this deal will eliminate essential services. It is in the interest of the state to stop this acquisition.
The Rev. Jane Emma Newall is from Brooklyn.