ACLU Sues Catholic Hospital for Selectively Choosing Which Women Can Have Tubal Ligations

As we’ve said on this site many times before, Catholic hospitals are more interested in following arbitrary faith-based rules than doing what’s best for patients.

One of the best examples is a tubal ligation procedure. If you’re a woman who’s giving birth and you’re having a C-section, you might decide that you’re also done having kids and you’d like to have your tubes tied so there are no unplanned pregnancies in the future.

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The doctor is already performing surgery, so performing a tubal ligation actually lets you kill two birds with one stone. It’s a safe procedure. Medical professionals even say that if you want your tubes tied, doing it during a C-section is a good idea because it doesn’t require an additional surgery.

But none of that matters to the bishops who control these hospitals. Sterilization runs contrary to God’s Will, so such procedures are denied, even if it’s in the best interests of the patients.

Now, the ACLU is suing Dignity Health in California because its client, Rebecca Chamorro, was denied a tubal ligation at Mercy Medical Center, putting her at risk if she were to have another child. Their lawsuit says California law trumps the religious whims of hospital administrators:

According to the suit, Dignity has allowed women to undergo postpartum sterilization in some cases despite church guidelines, which the hospital cited in its refusal to grant Chamorro’s request.

The ACLU contends that by providing tubal ligations for some patients, but refusing others because of [Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services], Dignity is breaking the law by discriminating against women.

It’s appalling that religious beliefs could be deemed more important than medical science, but who knows what the judge will say. Given that Catholic hospitals are becoming more prevalent, these problems will inevitably crop up more often in the future. It’s time these decisions were left to doctors and their patients, not a group of religious leaders acting on the word of their imaginary friend.

(Image via Shutterstock. Portions of this article were published earlier. Thanks to Jaynee for the link)

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