A Catholic hospital in California allowed a woman to undergo a sterilization procedure after facing a potential lawsuit from the ACLU.
A Catholic hospital in Redding, CA changed its tone after the ACLU threatened to file a discrimination suit for denying a woman the right to undergo surgery for sterilization. According to a report from SF Gate, the Mercy Medical Center refused to approve the procedure on religious grounds.
Mercy Medical Center is a part of California’s largest private healthcare company, Dignity Health. The hospital refused to allow Rachel Miller’s doctor to perform a tubal ligation after she gives birth to a child in a few weeks. Hospital officials cited the Catholic hospitals’ Ethical and Religious Directives handbook as the reason for denying the treatment.
Miller wasn’t prepared to back down after the denial. She asked for help from attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union, who threatened file a sex-discrimination suit if the woman was denied pregnancy-related care for religious reasons.
Faced with the threat of litigation, the hospital quickly backed down and allowed Miller to receive the treatment from her doctor. According to Miller, “This is a decision that I made with my family and my doctor and no one else should be involved in that process.”
Dignity Health issued no statement on the matter this week, but general counsel Rick Grossman sent a fax on Saturday stating that the claim of sex-discrimination had no basis because the hospital’s sterilization policy applied to both men and women.