Skip links

Why Won’t the ACLU Respect the Civil Liberties of Catholic Hospitals?


Another month, another ACLU lawsuit against a Catholic hospital.

The American Civil Liberties Union has already attempted several times to get Catholic hospitals or health care systems to allow tubal ligations, a practice at odds with Catholic moral doctrine.

Now the organization is fighting to force a Catholic hospital system to allow abortions in its facilities.

As in the other cases, the ACLU is gunning for a provision of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to guide Catholic hospitals along ethical lines. The ERDs, as they are known among Catholic health care practitioners and medical ethicists, formally forbid practices such as abortion, sterilization, contraception, assisted suicide and euthanasia in Catholic facilities. The ACLU claims that the directives prevent women from getting good reproductive health care and that in some circumstances, particularly when the Catholic hospital is the only practical choice for a woman because of distance, put women in serious life-and-death situations.

In the latest suit, which is brought against Trinity Health Corp. of Indiana, the ACLU charges that the ERDs conflict with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), which requires emergency departments to “stabilize any individual determined to have a medical emergency.”

Read more at…

Share with Friends:

Leave a comment