Stop Catholic Hospitals from Endangering People's Lives

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Imagine this …

Twelve weeks into your second pregnancy, you begin to miscarry. But, because of religious directives that dictate the care you receive, it takes you three trips to the emergency room of your trusted Catholic hospital – and you almost die – before getting the care your condition required.

This actually happened to Laurie Bertram-Roberts

All around the country, people are being denied the health care they need and their lives are put at risk because their medical needs conflict with religious doctrine. The directives that dictate the reproductive health care people receive are written by Catholic bishops, not doctors. This is wrong. It’s dangerous. And, because Catholic hospital systems are growing so rapidly and are among the largest health care networks in the U.S., you or someone you love could be denied medical procedures.

Imagine this …

Your IUD dislodges after you fall, causing you bleeding and pain. But, the doctor you see at a local Catholic hospital refuses to remove it, despite acknowledging it must be taken out. That's because the Catholic Church’s religious directives prevent doctors from following standard reproductive care.

This actually happened to Melanie Jones.       

  • 1 in every 6 acute care hospital beds nationwide is owned or affiliated with Catholic health care. In some states, it is 1 in 3.
  • Due to mergers, Catholic hospitals are the only provider in many rural communities.
  • In 19 states, women of color are more likely than white women to give birth in Catholic hospitals. As a result, women of color are more likely to have their reproductive care determined by Catholic bishops and not doctors.

Imagine this …

At 36 weeks pregnant, your OB/GYN induces labor because your amniotic fluid is dangerously low. After three days you still have not given birth, so your doctor schedules a caesarean section. You see a bright spot. Because you and your husband don't want to have any more children, you plan to get your fallopian tubes tied at the same time. Doing it this way means you can avoid the risks and costs of a separate medical procedure. But, your long-time OB/GYN tells you the Catholic hospital you’ve been admitted to won’t allow it. Worse, during a follow-up visit, she tells you she can no longer prescribe birth control for you because she sold her practice to the same Catholic hospital.

This actually happened to Angela Valavanis.

When religion takes priority over medicine, it harms people. Demand the House Energy and Commerce Committee and state attorneys general require Catholic hospitals follow standard, evidence-based medical practices for reproductive health care.

Adding your name to this petition will help us put a stop to religious intrusions into reproductive care. 

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