Skip to comments.Frist a Major Shareholder in Reputed For-Profit Abortion Provider
Posted on 12/19/2002 10:26:29 PM PST by The Old Hoosier
|Frist a Major Shareholder in Reputed For-Profit Abortion Provider
By Terence P. Jeffrey
Bill Frist (R.-Tenn.), reportedly the White House choice to succeed Trent Lott (R.-Miss.) as Senate majority leader, is a major shareholder in HCA, a for-profit hospital chain founded by his father and brother. HCA reportedly provides abortions to its customers.
So now Republicans face this question: If it is disqualifying for their Senate leader to make offensive remarks interpreted as endorsing an immoral policy that denied African-Americans equal rights, is it also disqualifying for their Senate leader to make money from a hospital chain that denies unborn babies the right to life?
Frist has deposited his major stockholdings in a "blind trust" chartered Dec. 28, 2000. A schedule of the original assets in this trust filed with the Senate showed holdings in 16 companies. Frist reported the value of these assets, as per Senate rules, within broad ranges (e.g. $1,001-$15,001). If the lowest possible value is assigned to each holding, Frist at that time had invested a minimum of $566,015 in 15 other companies, while investing at least $5,000,001 in HCA.
That would mean that approximately 89% of his holdings were in this company.
Furthermore, on its face, the trust agreement appears structured to allow the administrators to maintain this heavy concentration in HCA stock. It also specifically instructs the administrators to inform Frist if they divest entirely from any holding, including HCA. And, finally, it gives Frist the power to directly order the administrators to divest from HCA or any other holding that Frist determines "creates a conflict of interest or the appearance thereof."
HCA does not trumpet its reported involvement with abortion. But, in April, Catholic Financial Services Corporation (CFSC), a mutual fund company, announced that it was starting an S&P 500 Index Fund that would "exclude companies on the abortion issue"and that HCA was one of only six companies on the index that would be excluded on these grounds. A spokesman for the mutual fund explained to me last week that the company excludes hospital chains that perform abortions and pharmaceutical companies that deal in drugs that induce abortion.
On December 18 and 19, I placed several calls to HCA corporate spokesman Jeff Prescott, to ask him directly whether abortions were performed in HCA facilities, or whether the company refuted CFSCs determination that they were. I left him voice messages to this effect, and repeatedly told his secretary my questions. At 5:00 p.m. on the 19th, as press time approached, the secretary left me lingering on hold with no answer. When I hung up and called back, I got Prescotts voice mail again and left him one last message. He never returned my call.
I also spoke with Sen. Frists spokesman, Nick Smith. I explained to Smith my understanding that the terms of Frists "blind" trust allowed the administrators to maintain a heavy concentration in HCA, while allowing Frist to order the sale of this stock, and while also compelling the administrators to inform Frist if they divested entirely from HCA or any other holding. I cited the specific passages in the trust to this effect. I also asked Smith to clarify Frists position on abortionwhich has confounded pro-lifers over the yearsand why Frist would not divest, since he apparently could, from a company that reportedly performs abortions.
When Frist first ran for the Senate in 1994, the Nashville Banner reported that he "frequently" said he "does not believe abortion should be outlawed." In a May 1994 radio interview, the Banner reported, Frist said, "Its a very private decision." One of Frists Republican primary rivals, Steve Wilson, the Banner said, "demanded that Frist sell his millions of dollars in stock in the Hospital Corporation of America [HCA], which Frists family founded. Some of the hospitals in the chain perform abortions."
Tennessee Right to Life PAC Director Sherry Holden, however, told the Banner that Frist had told her organization he was pro-life. "He said hes against abortion, periodno exceptions, except rape and incest," said Holden.
Yet, an Oct. 10, 1994, Memphis Commercial Appeal report on a debate between Frist and incumbent Sen. Jim Sasser (D.-Tenn.) said: "There were some topics on which the candidates agreedboth said theyre personally opposed to abortion but dont think the government should prohibit abortions."
I asked Smith whether Frist wanted to prohibit abortion either by constitutional amendment or by over-turning Roe v. Wade and enacting prohibitions in the states, including Tennessee.
Smith responded by faxing me a statement. The White House, pro-life Republican senators, and their grassroots supporters can decide whether it is responsive:
"These two issues [the HCA investment and abortion] are separate and distinct," wrote Smith.
"On his own accord, by placing his assets in a federally qualified blind trust, Sen. Frist took a step above and beyond to ensure there is no conflict of interest," wrote Smith. "He believes this was the proper and responsible thing to do. He has never been employed by, or served on the board of, HCA or any of its hospitals.
"As a U.S. senator who acts on public policy each and every day, his record on abortion is clear," Smith continued. "He is opposed to abortion except in the instances of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is threatened. He is opposed to federal funding of abortion. And in the Senate, he led the fight against partial-birth abortion."
His Senate website includes a statement saying, "No one can deny the potential human cloning holds for increased scientific understanding. But . . . I am unable to find a compelling justification for allowing human cloning today."
As Bill Clinton might say, that doesnt rule out tomorrowwhen he may be Senate majority leader.
Show me the law. I'm from Missouri.
If anyone wants on or off my ProLife Ping List, please notify me here or by freepmail.
Merry Christmas to all.
And, what's more, essentially everyone posting here has invested in the U.S.A. by staying here and paying taxes for government funded abortions. Following your logic, your only morally acceptable option is to sell your U.S. property and move out of the country, lending your productivity to an abortion prohibiting country.
As has been pointed out abortions in hospitals are a very small part of their business. They may be required to provide facilities as the market dominant hospitals in certain areas.
The causes of abortion are more associated with a lack of father commitment to and love for children than a hospital making itself available for this procedure. Getting government out of the provider business (strengthening the imperative for woman to say no), strengthening the family by allowing them to keep more of their own money, strengthening marriage laws and not funding abortions and pro-abortion propaganda is what the goverment can do to reduce abortions. Bigger picture, Senator Frist is better than what we have had in the past.
We don't know what Senator Frist's position has been in dealing with that aspect of the family business, but I don't think his divestiture would do anything to eliminate the abortions that do take place a HCA facilities.
But if the hospital which treats you provides abortion, then the money you pay them subsidizes abortion, and you are culpable... Nice try, but there is no real distinction. You are willing to support such a facility as long as you benefit (in this case, from receiving the medical care you need.) It may not be a financial benefit, but you are supporting an abortion provider so you can benefit. That is just as hypocritical as you accuse Frist of being. IF you are going to hold to your principles as closely as you claim, you should only avail yourself of medical services that have no relationship to any possible abortion activity.
Correct. Rove is already a disaster. He wins elections, but so did Dick Morris."What a disaster this guy will be."I assume that you mean Sen. Frist.
Why do you believe that he will be a disaster?If chosen, he will lead the senate, chose who sits on committees (in part), chose what bills come up for votes, etc. Unlike you, I dont agree that he is pro-life enough, nor do I consider it necessary to compromise as far as he has to win elections. It may be necessary in a national party election though Bushs election compared to Bush the elder and Doles losses seem to prove the contrary and it may be necessary as a party platform. It is not to win a Senate seat in MN, much less TN.
Moreover, when you look at his voting record alongside his personal comments, his record doesnt match that of a person who is pro-life, but has to tone it down to get elected. It matches a person who is a pro-abort republican, but realizes he must be at least somewhat pro-life to get elected as a Republican in Tennessee. We have ample examples of weakly pro-life Tennessee Senators who recognized that they had to be pro-life to get elected down there, but once they moved on to bigger and better things they deserted the pro-life position promptly. See Albert Gore, who once was pro-life, supposedly. If even Mr. Gore had to pretend to be pro-life to get elected in TN, dont you think that its possible Mr. Frist has recognized the same?
You mention stem cell. I dont recall anyone whose efforts and comments disturbed me as profoundly as Mr. Frists did at the time that debate was raging. In short, I see little difference between Senator Frist and Senator Landreau from LA. She also opposed partial birth abortion in her votes, but you can hardly call her pro-life. It is a political necessity in her state. Yet the aborts down there support her. He may also have opposed funding, and I dont recall her position on that issue, but I can see opposing funding merely on fiscal conservatism bases. She, unlike him, actually opposed stem cell research.
He seems about as conservative as Sen. Lott, in terms of the issues.You mean the issue of getting Mr. Rove elected again? If not, I disagree.
And, in Sen. Frist, we will have the benefit of a Majority Leader who does not believe himself obligated to kow-tow to the affirmative action crowd to maintain his viability.Well, I believe Lott should go, but that doesnt mean I want Frist to replace him.
I disagree. You seem to forget that you are much more reasonable than I am. I am much less willing to compromise on this issue. Had Bush the elder won again, or had Dole won, they would have led the Republican party farther and farther down the pro-choice road."I don't know if I can vote for a team with this man on it."I remember there were folks who felt that way about the first President Bush because of advisors like Richard Darman. Of course, the failure to support Mr. Bush led us to the presidency of Mr. Clinton. For me, enough bad things happened during Mr. Clinton's term to justify thinking that conservatives ought to have better supported the first President Bush.
Yes, Clinton is worse than Bush or Dole, by far. Having absolutely no party to support us or being nothing more than plantation slaves, much like minorities are to some democrats is a far greater evil than suffering under Clinton for a time. All Clintons all the time. Well, that seems to be the party Rove envisions, so long as its electable. No thanks.
We didnt say much when Rove/Bush started appointing pro-abort, pro-gay ambassadors. Then it was various department heads. Then it was cabinet positions. Each step along the way, we are told the position doesnt have anything to do with abortion, dont worry about it. Well, now we are talking about the Senate majority leader. We are talking about a man who pushed the nomination of an abortionist to be Surgeon General. We are talking about a man who owns $5 million worth of an abortion providing hospital, not to mention what his family owns. Do your really think this man will work to make abortion rare? I see no evidence he will.
Yet, we are still being told to hush, you silly one issue voters. Sorry, you can be reasonable. Im off the res.
We quickly forget how much damage a liberal president can do.Not at all. I just disagree with you on the priorities. Doesnt mean Ive gone brain dead, of course. Who could forget Clinton?
Just shocking I tell you.
Shocking smocking. Listen, icing people who are causing payin customers a inconvenience is just a part of a family business. All ya need is a respectable lookin joint and a couple enforcers who got some particular letters behind their names and wah-lah - you got yourself a operation. Frists racket is a big earner and, due to certain influences of a political nature, its legit.
Good thing for Frist babies dont vote. Ha ha ha. Those babies dont never even breathe a single word.
above citation from: Merging religious and secular hospitals. found here click
It is very instructive that HCA enters into agreements with hospitals to provide administrative oversight. They do more than just OWN hospitals.
Now, the question is this. In joint ventures with "public" hospitals which receive tax money, would they be allowed to prevent abortions being performed SINCE abortions are legal. I'm almost certain I remember a ruling that a public hospital cannot refuse to perform a legal procedure which it is qualified and has the facilities to perform.
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