NEWPORT BEACH (AP) — A Southern California hospital whose ban on elective abortions provoked a state investigation can keep refusing to perform the procedure.

The Los Angeles Times says Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach and the state attorney general’s office reached an agreement last month.

The hospital can refuse to provide elective abortions as long as it helps women access those services elsewhere.

Hoag announced last spring that it would no longer perform elective abortions, citing low demand. But the Times says the move actually was a condition of Hoag’s agreement to affiliate with a Catholic health system.

The decision sparked a public outcry and the state investigation.

In a statement, Hoag President and Chief Executive Robert Braithwaite says the hospital fully supports its agreement with the state.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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