ACLU Forces Catholic Hospital To Sterilize Woman
The threat of a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has compelled a Catholic hospital in California to sterilize a woman, despite the fact that performing such a procedure contravenes its Catholic teachings.
Mercy Medical Center in San Francisco is a Catholic hospital, operated as a subsidiary of Dignity Health, California’s largest private health care provider. Rachel Miller, a woman scheduled to give birth by C-section in late September, wanted her doctor to perform a tubal ligation following the birth, which would render her infertile going forward.
But hospital staff initially refused her request, citing the hospital’s Catholic religious directives. The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization and other forms of birth control are sinful, as they deliberately sabotage the procreative aspect of human sexuality and thus violate natural law. Mercy’s policies reflect Catholic teaching in other ways, as its doctors do not perform abortions and do not cooperate with in vitro fertilization, as both also contravene Catholic doctrine.