A Victorian Greens Party MP has been caught making false claims against Catholic Church owned hospitals, effectively accusing them of mistreating rape victims.
The extraordinary attack revealed by The Age today was made on Parliamentary letterhead to the Medical Practitioners Board seeking their ruling on claims that the hospital’s doctors had breached their duty of care to patients who’d been sexually assaulted.
The MP claimed – falsely – that Church owned hospitals did not offer referrals to rape crisis centres “unless they were confident victims were not pregnant”.
Rather than firing off her libellous claims in a letter to regulators, she could have asked the good folk running Church hospitals to get to the truth:
Catholic Health Australia said its hospitals provided initial counselling and care to victims of sexual assault but did not operate specific sexual assault centres or offer abortions.
“Catholic hospitals, recognising the expertise of the counselling and care services like those provided by the Royal Women’s, refer victims of sexual assault because of the specialist support the Royal has on offer,” chief executive Martin Laverty said.
The Greens MP clearly has an issue with the Catholic Church and possibly with the idea of churches operating hospitals at all. Her extremist approach of preferring to attack a charity rather than raise her concerns directly is an indicator of the sensitive nature of this week’s debate in Victoria’s upper house on the decriminalisation of abortion for women who are up to six months pregnant.