New York, February 2, 2023 – Following a productive dialogue with HCA Healthcare, United Church Funds (UCF) announced today that it had withdrawn a shareholder proposal concerning the availability of emergency abortions at the corporation’s member hospitals. In response to the proposal, HCA Healthcare had clarified publicly that its member hospitals are prepared to provide emergency abortions in accordance with the U.S. Health and Human Services directive on Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA), affirming pregnant patients’ right to access abortion in emergencies. UCF served as lead filer in the shareholder resolution, and the Marguerite Casey Foundation co-filed the proposal, represented by Rhia Ventures.
HCA Healthcare’s statement reads: “The Company’s hospitals and facilities work with licensed physicians who use their extensive training and experience to exercise their independent medical judgment to assess patients’ needs and determine the course of treatment consistent with applicable federal and state laws and regulations. In medical emergencies, a licensed and appropriately credentialed physician at an HCA Healthcare hospital may perform an emergency abortion that such physician (exercising his or her independent medical judgment) determines and documents as meeting an applicable federal requirement or state law exception.”
Charles Buck, UCF’s Chief Executive Officer, commented: “In the post-Dobbs era, patients and doctors in many states are navigating new rules that are not clear. Although most abortions are not performed in a hospital setting, those that do occur there are often the most serious and complicated abortions. We’re pleased that we have successfully raised awareness of this critical issue and that HCA Healthcare has made it clear that they will abide by EMTALA.”
“For UCF, reproductive health care is both a business issue and a matter of human rights. We will continue to use our voice to ensure that our investments support a just world for all,” added Buck.
In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization upheld a Mississippi law banning most abortions after 15 weeks. With this ruling, the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was overturned, ending constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years.
In coordination with Rhia Ventures, values-aligned shareholders like UCF have been raising critical issues of abortion access in the boardroom, filing 31 shareholder proposals addressing the intersection between corporate policy and reproductive health care.
“Together, socially responsible investors have been working together to engage with companies to drive changes in policy and practice,” said Shelley Alpern, Rhia Ventures’ Director of Corporate Engagement. “The successful shareholder engagement with HCA Healthcare offered us substantial opportunity to engage with the company around the broader issue of hospital support for patients and doctors when abortion services are sought or needed in the case of emergency.”
In line with numerous UCC General Synod resolutions, UCF believes that comprehensive reproductive and maternal healthcare is a fundamental right for all. UCF remains committed to leveraging its portfolio and pursuing shareholder advocacy to protect this right.
Click here to learn more about how shareholders are working together to address access to reproductive and maternal health care.
About United Church Funds
United Church Funds is the leading provider of socially responsible, values-aligned investment management services to United Church of Christ churches and ministries, as well as all faith-based organizations. We offer customized investment portfolios and prudent investment strategies that provide competitive returns while also reflecting our clients’ values in seeking to achieve a just world. UCF also offers endowment governance consulting, planned giving programs and superior, personalized service from our dedicated Client Services team. To learn more about how UCF can help your church or faith-based organization further its mission while achieving its long-term financial goals, please visit www.ucfunds.org, email us at [email protected] or call us toll-free at 877-806-4989.
About Marguerite Casey Foundation
Marguerite Casey Foundation supports leaders, scholars and initiatives focused on shifting the balance of power in society – building power for communities that continue to be excluded from shaping how society works and from sharing in its rewards and freedoms. Our board members, leadership, and staff are committed to building a just economy and fully realized democracy, and to providing unfettered support to the bold strategies and leadership that are required to bring about major change in our lifetime.
About Rhia Ventures
Rhia Ventures is a nonprofit organization developing a vibrant sexual, reproductive, and maternal health market that contributes to equitable outcomes for all women and other birthing people in the US. Rhia uses complementary strategies to transform this market, including direct investment, technical assistance, field building, and corporate engagement.
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