Catholic Culture Resources
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Catholic World News

Catholic hospital to permit sterilization following lawsuit threat

August 25, 2015

A Catholic hospital in California has agreed to permit a doctor to sterilize a woman after the American Civil Liberties Union threatened to file a lawsuit, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

"Rachel Miller, due to have her second child in late September, agreed with her husband that this would be her last pregnancy and decided she would be sterilized by tubal ligation after giving birth," the newspaper reported. Miller says that her insurance will not cover both childbirth and sterilization at any other hospital in a 150-mile radius.

Citing the US bishops’ healthcare directives, Mercy Medical Center in Redding initially refused to agree to the sterilization, but after the filing of the lawsuit "notified her doctor that it was reconsidering based on additional information the physician had provided," the newspaper reported. Subsequently, the hospital agreed to permit the sterilization.

An ACLU attorney welcomed the hospital’s decision. “That’s great that they are willing to do that for some women,” said Elizabeth Gill, who described Miller as “just one of many women who risk being denied care because Catholic bishops are telling medical professionals how to operate.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “the regulation of births represents one of the aspects of responsible fatherhood and motherhood. Legitimate intentions on the part of the spouses do not justify recourse to morally unacceptable means (for example, direct sterilization or contraception)” (no. 2399).


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  • Posted by: - Aug. 25, 2015 11:41 AM ET USA

    This is not a possible solution! Where is the Bishop on this? Why do we always shy away from persecution???