- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging a federally funded Peoria-area medical clinic for its ties to a Catholic health care system that limits access to birth control.

The lease agreements between OSF Saint Francis Medical Center Heartland Health Services for two of its four clinics require Heartland staff to comply with ethical and religious directives for Catholic Healthcare Services.

The Journal Star in Peoria reports (https://bit.ly/2kJlQuP) the ACLU sent a letter Monday to Heartland CEO Charles Bandoian that included recommendations to expand contraceptive access and improve education and referral procedures.

Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project attorney Jenna Prochaska says the ACLU became aware of the issue in 2015 when several health care providers voiced concerns about their patients’ ability to receive prescription birth control.

Director of marketing Jamie Messmore noted Heartland operates two facilities not subject to the restrictions and transportation to them is provided by the clinic.

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Information from: Journal Star, https://pjstar.com

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