Worried about abortion laws? Catholic hospital mergers also seen as threat to women's health care
Rikha Sharma Rani
Dec 27, 2019
In 1995, Lois Uttley was working as a reproductive rights advocate in New York when the merger of two hospitals in Troy, a city near Albany, caught her off-guard.
One was secular, the other, Catholic. The secular hospital agreed to abide by rules written by Catholic bishops banning certain procedures deemed “immoral” by the church, like abortion, contraception, in-vitro fertilization and tubal ligation.
For Doctors Who Want To Provide Abortions, Employment Contracts Often Tie Their Hands
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Doctors who are opposed to abortions don't have to provide them. Since the 1970s, a series of federal rules have provided clinicians with "conscience protections" that help them keep their jobs if they don't want to perform or assist with the procedure.
Religious hospitals are also protected. Catholic health care systems, for example, are protected if they choose not to provide abortions or sterilizations. Doctors who work for religious hospitals usually sign contracts that they'll uphold religious values in their work.