Catholic hospitals deny women critical care

Mindy, Tamesha, Angela, and Jessica'

Catholic hospitals are using religious beliefs to turn away patients seeking critical health care.

Women like Mindy, Tamesha, Angela, and Jessica (pictured above) are telling their stories about being turned away from Catholic hospitals during pregnancy despite serious risks to their lives or health.

A new ACLU report shares their firsthand accounts and uncovers discrimination and harm caused by Catholic hospitals across the United States. These hospitals adhere to a set of religious rules — written by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that prohibit abortion or tubal ligation — "getting your tubes tied" — even when a patient’s life or health is in jeopardy.

Today, one in six hospital beds in the United States is in a hospital that abides by Catholic restrictions. Catholic hospitals receive billions in taxpayer dollars. Why are they getting away with turning away patients in emergencies and other patients seeking critical reproductive health services?

In America, religious freedom is a fundamental right. But it does not grant hospitals the right to force their religious beliefs on patients or discriminate by closing the door to patients.

Demand oversight. Ask the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to step in and tell Catholic hospitals across the country to stop the harm and discrimination.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:

Catholic hospitals across the country are denying patients crucial reproductive health care. Please step in and make clear to all hospitals, regardless of religious affiliation, that they are required by federal law to provide emergency reproductive health care.

Let them know that you will investigate violations of federal laws requiring emergency care, and take all necessary corrective action where violations are found.