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The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Why? The ACLU says that Catholic hospitals adhere to policies that may put women at risk. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but what happens if you live in a one-hospital town, and your beliefs don’t line-up with those of the establishment? Here’s what you need to know.
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There are two polarizing healthcare services at issue here: abortion and tubal ligations (or other sterilization services), since the Catholic Church doesn’t support abortion or contraception. But, when a mother’s life is at risk, the Church does’t prohibit procedures that cause the birth of a fetus, even when it is almost guaranteed to die. The following is taken directly out of the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, Fifth Edition; United States Conference of Catholic Bishops:
Operations, treatments, and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted when they cannot be safely postponed until the unborn child is viable, even if they will result in the death of the unborn child.