Support the Café

Search our Site

Catholic Hospitals in U.S. are turning women away for miscarrying

Catholic Hospitals in U.S. are turning women away for miscarrying

Amanda Marcotte writes on the growing policy for Catholic Hospitals to refuse care for women who are losing their pregnancies. From her article in Slate:

In El Salvador, the eagerness to arrest women caught illegally aborting has led to the government charging women who have miscarried wanted pregnancies with murder. In Ireland, Savita Halappanavar lost her life when doctors refused to clear out a miscarrying pregnancy, even though it was clearly turning septic. These doctors decided, under Ireland’s strict abortion ban, that giving Halappanavar’s fetus an opportunity to experience a few days more of a heartbeat was more important than saving Halappanavar’s life.

While the United States has much more liberal abortion laws than Ireland and El Salvador, this extremism is affecting women’s medical care here, too. Catholic hospitals, which constitute 12 percent of hospital in the U.S., usually require doctors to refuse to help a woman who is miscarrying until the fetal heartbeat stops on its own, which is the same rule that led to Halappanavar’s death.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops over this issue. Details of the case are found in the article.


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Fr. Will McQueen


No, it isn’t a violation to refuse birth control because employer paid health insurance isn’t a right, it’s a benefit that certain jobs provide and certain jobs do not. If you don’t like the benefit package provided by your employer, find a new job, or get a supplemental policy offering the items you desire. This utter nonsense that by drawing oxygen we are entitled to healthcare is a serious problem. However, if we can con enough politicians to pass a colossally stupid law such as the ACA, then we’d better not whine and complain when prices skyrocket, and that the government can’t sustain this for long.


Upon reading the article and information posted on the ACLU’s site, I find the most shocking aspect of the Bishops’ guidelines isn’t that they required a hospital to deny treatment to a person in distress, but that they required the hospital not to provide the patient with all of the relevant information about her condition.

Bill Dilworth

Marshall Scott

Well, Paul, I will admit I have wondered whether we could charge said politicians with practicing medicine without a license. That thought could extend to bishops to, I would think.

Paul Woodrum

How about suing (or charging with murder) the politicians who pass laws permitting such kow-towing to any denomination’s purity codes?


Everyone’s civil liberties are safe when the ACLU is involved. Anti-choice Power-Over, not so much.

JC Fisher

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café