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Two Sides of Hospital Merger Debate Represented in Newspaper Ads

Several pages of the Louisville Courier-Journal will be dedicated to the pending University of Louisville hospital merger this weekend, but not editorial pages.Two groups have paid for ad space to defend their positions on the merger between U of L Hospital, Jewish Hospital and a division of Catholic Health Initiatives.The first group is representatives from the hospitals. They say while doctors will follow Catholic health directives, banned procedures such as vasectomies and contraception counseling will continue at other U of L facilities not under the merged hospital.But a group of local women is concerned that the services may not truly be protected, or will be too difficult to access. They've collected more than 400 names on a petition and will run the list as an ad this weekend. Four state lawmakers and three Metro Council members have signed the petition, which calls for the merger to be changed.U of L officials say details of the deal are still being worked out. If federal approval is granted, the merger could begin in the next year.Representatives with the hospitals did not return a request for comment.

Gabe Bullard is the director of news and editorial strategy.