What every family should know about their hospital
One in six hospital beds in the United States is in a facility that complies with Catholic Directives that prohibit a range of reproductive health care services even when a woman’s life or health is in jeopardy. In some states, more than 40 percent of all hospital beds are in a Catholic facility, leaving entire regions without any option for certain reproductive health care.
The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Service, promulgated by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, set forth standards that are to govern at Catholic health care facilities. The Directives prohibit a range of reproductive health services, including contraception, sterilization, many infertility treatments, and abortion, even when a woman’s life or health is jeopardized by a pregnancy. Because of these rules, many Catholic hospitals across this country are withholding emergency care from patients who are in the midst of a miscarriage or experiencing other pregnancy complications.
Catholic hospitals also routinely prohibit doctors from performing tubal ligations (commonly known as “getting your tubes tied”) at the time of delivery, when the procedure is safest, leaving patients to undergo an additional surgery elsewhere after recovering from childbirth. Catholic hospitals deny these essential health services despite receiving billions in taxpayer dollars. Transgender and gender-non-conforming patients suffer the same and other similar harms when seeking reproductive health care.