The Powerful Constraints on Medical Care in Catholic Hospitals Across America

This article discusses the impact of Catholic hospitals’ adherence to the “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” which prohibit procedures like abortion and limit reproductive care. The directives often conflict with accepted medical standards and have led to patients being turned away from necessary care. The article also highlights how the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade has compounded these restrictions, creating barriers for women seeking to prevent pregnancy or to end one. Additionally, the analysis reveals that nearly half of general hospitals in Iowa are Catholic or Catholic-affiliated, resulting in limited access to reproductive care for women. Overall, the directives have led to concerns about patient access to necessary care and medical decision-making.

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