Catholic Hospital Retracts Contraceptive Refusal Decision After ACLU Delivers Smackdown

Rachel Miller and her husband had made up their minds: with one small child at home and another on the way, they decided that their soon-to-be family of four didn't need any further additions. So when scheduling her C-section with her doctor at Mercy Medical Center in California, Rachel asked that her doctor perform a post-partum tubal ligation as a contraceptive measure. The doctor agreed. That should have been the end of the discussion. Unfortunately, Mercy Medical Center had other ideas.

From the American Civil Liberties Union:

"However, the hospital where Rachel is scheduled for delivery is part of a Catholic hospital system, and operates under binding 'ethical and religious directives' issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Applying these directives, which refer to sterilization for the purpose of contraception as 'intrinsically evil,' the hospital denied Rachel’s doctor’s request to perform this common procedure."

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A sternly worded letter from the ACLU later, Mercy Medical Center caved, allowing Rachel's doctor to schedule the procedure.

Rachel's ordeal was absolutely unnecessary. No hospital system serving the public health should be allowed to use religious doctrine to dictate what an adult woman can do with her body. We applaud our allies at the ACLU for standing against abuses of power by a religious health organization.

Were you discriminated against or denied service because of your religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or gender identity, or denied healthcare because your doctor, hospital, or pharmacist has religious objections to certain types of care, such as birth control? Americans United can help. Get legal assistance now.