Catholic hospitals threaten the health of women everyday.
Currently in the United States, one in six hospital beds are governed by rules set by Catholic bishops, not doctors, putting the lives and health of women at risk. Because of this growing and dangerous Catholic monopoly on healthcare, an alarming number of American women do not have access to the full spectrum of healthcare services considered standard of care at non-Catholic hospitals. In some cases, that lack of access to care could be life-threatening.
A recent episode of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” explored the dangerous trend of the Catholic church’s monopoly on health care in the United States. Bee argued that the growth of Catholic-based health care means many women will not be able to access lifesaving care. The segment highlighted scenarios in which Catholic hospitals declined to treat women in need of abortions, even when the fetus was nonviable, or the mother’s life was in jeopardy.
A particularly poignant element of the segment was an interview with Dr. Rupa Natarajan, who describes how Catholic directives restricted her ability to care for her patients at the Catholic hospital where she worked. In the interview, Dr. Natarajan gives a horrifying account of a Catholic hospital forcing a patient to give birth to a non-viable fetus:
The segment goes on to point out the horror and absurdity of the Catholic church’s position of women’s health care, at one point quoting Father Thomas Weinandy of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops as saying:
The fact that they can’t [receive] sterilizations or abortions at a Catholic health services facility is not a form of suffering at all. As a matter of fact, we’re protecting them from evil things that could happen to them.
There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child.
An obviously frustrated Bee replied:
Right. Those situations are called the Middle Ages.
Bee concluded the segment by asking the Catholic church “How can our suffering and danger mean so little to you?” –
I don’t have a joke here… I’d like a word with the priesthood. How can our suffering and danger mean so little to you? Modern obstetric medicine is a miracle. It’s the reason women in developed countries don’t have to choose between having children and being alive. A miscarriage is already the worst day of a woman’s life, and in a Catholic healthcare network, it could also be her last.
Bottom line: Catholic hospitals are denying women health care for religious reasons, and in so doing putting lives at risk. This is unacceptable. The Hippocratic Oath should take precedence over Catholic dogma and theocratic oppression.
Watch the “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” segment below: