A recent suit from the ACLU has lead to a hospital reversing its refusal on a sterilization procedure.
A Catholic hospital recently overturned its decision of declining post-birth sterilization to a pregnant woman, reports the National Review.
After the initial refusal of this procedure, the ACLU threatened to file a suit against the hospital. This event is one of many conflicts between reproductive health and religious rights.
The San Francisco-based Dignity Health, California’s largest private health care network, is the owner of Mercy Medical Center, which said in April that it would not give Rachel Miller a tubal ligation following her caesarean section. The hospital claimed that Ethical and Religious Directives of the church forbade reproductive health care procedures like sterilization.
Miller, an attorney in Redding, California, joined the ACLU to protest this decision. The ACLU wrote in a letter to Dignity Health that this refusal constituted discrimination based on sex, and it was reflective of “theological tenets over patient health”.
Elizabeth Gill, senior attorney at the ACLU of Northern California, claimed that “While we’re grateful Mercy Medical has agreed to provide medical care in this instance for Ms. Miller, the reality remains that there is a clear conflict between the best interests of patients and the directives of the Catholic hospital system”. Gill further commented that religious institutions that offer services to the public should not make decisions on the basis of religion for discriminating or denying health care.