LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- University of Louisville Hospital may have to disclose information which could shed light on its proposed merger with Catholic Healthcare Initiatives.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has ruled that the company that operates University Hospital is a public company.  The decision means the company violated open records laws by not turning over information requested by the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky.

Conway's ruling does not have any direct bearing on the proposed merger, but it does reinforce earlier positions by Conway and Governor Steve Beshear that state approval is needed for the merger to proceed.

Catholic Healthcare Initiatives operates Saints Mary & Elizabeth Hospital, Jewish Hospital, and a Lexington hospital.  There are concerns that the merger would prohibit certain reproductive medical procedures from taking place in the hospital because they go against Catholic doctrine which opposes contraception and sterilization.

Conway's opinion as attorney general can be appealed to Circuit Court.

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