This California hospital was forced to defy its own governing policies after a legal threat from the American Civil Liberties Union.
According to a report from SFGate, a religious hospital in California recently reversed a decision to deny a tubal ligation procedure to a pregnant woman expecting to give birth within the coming month.
The hospital has a policy against sterilization surgeries that applies to both men and women, but they were forced to bypass their own rules after the ACLU threatened to slap the administration with a costly sex-discrimination lawsuit.
Tubal ligation, colloquially referred to as having one’s “tubes tied,” is a common procedure that prevents eggs from reaching the uterus, thus preventing the possibility for fertilization. Women undergo the procedure for a wide range of reasons, but Rachel Miller simply wanted to avoid future pregnancies after giving birth this fall.
When Mercy Medical Center in Redding, CA denied the woman’s request for the procedure, she sought help from attorneys at the American Civil Liberties Union. The group said it would file a discrimination suit on Miller’s behalf, and hospital administrators quickly changed their tone when faced with the prospect of litigation.
Rick Grossman, the head of the hospital’s management company, Dignity Health, declined to comment on the hospital’s decision to allow the procedure. The hospital’s Ethical and Religious Directives prohibited the procedure, which is perfectly legal under California law. Grossman claimed in a fax last weekend that discrimination is a bogus charge, since their ban on sterilization procedures applies to both men and women.