The ACLU and MergerWatch have combined forces to put out a report on the growth of Catholic hospitals and the threat to reproductive health care [pdf]. There’s also a press release.
With the rise of Catholic hospitals has come the increasing danger that women’s reproductive health care will be compromised by religious restrictions. The Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (the Directives), issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), govern care at these facilities. The Directives prohibit a range of reproductive health services, including contraception, sterilization, many infertility treatments, and abortion care, even when a woman’s health or life is in danger. Moreover, they often restrict even the ability of hospital staff to provide patients with full information and referrals for care that conflict with religious teachings.
This can be lethal. Not figuratively or loosely, but literally: it can cause death.