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Response to guillaumeb (Original post)

Sat Apr 15, 2017, 09:24 PM

2. The religious right and particularly the RCC have been waging a war on our rights for decades.

I posted these articles in response to someone who insisted the Pope is progressive and that the Church doesn't have any power in this country - which is nonsense. Catholic hospitals are being sued for denying women needed medical care.

Do Bishops Run Your Hospital?

The Catholic Church is making health care decisions for more and more Americans—whether they know it or not.

Between 2001 and 2011, the number of American hospitals affiliated with the Catholic Church grew 16 percent, even as the number of public hospitals and secular nonprofit hospitals dropped 31 percent and 12 percent, respectively, according to an upcoming report by the American Civil Liberties Union and MergerWatch, a nonprofit that tracks religious health care mergers. In 2012, Catholic hospitals and health care systems were involved in 24 mergers or acquisitions, according to Irving Levin Associates, a market research firm. Ten of the 25 largest nonprofit hospital systems in the country are Catholic, and Catholic hospitals care for 1 in 6 American patients. In at least eight states, 30 percent or more of patient admissions are at Catholic facilities.

Ten of the 25 largest nonprofit hospital systems in the country are Catholic, and Catholic hospitals care for 1 in 6 patients.

Catholic hospitals are required to follow health care directives handed down by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops—a group of celibate older men who have become increasingly conservative over the past few decades. (Recall the bishops' ongoing showdown with the White House over Obamacare's requirement that health insurance plans cover contraception.) The issues go far beyond abortion. The bishops' directives restrict how doctors in Catholic hospitals may treat everything from miscarriages to terminal illness. How this treatment differs from that of secular hospitals is not always disclosed to patients.

"When you go into a hospital or an ER, you do not think that there's a bishop between you and your doctor," says Linda McCarthy, CEO of a Planned Parenthood branch in western Washington. In 2010, Peter Sartain, a prominent bishop recently enlisted by the church to crack down on nuns deemed too liberal, was appointed to the Seattle diocese. Not long afterward, he told the Catholic hospital in McCarthy's area to stop performing lab work for Planned Parenthood that the hospital had handled for at least a decade, including tests unrelated to abortion, such as cholesterol screenings. McCarthy publicized the demand and the hospital backed off, for the time being.

"The Catholic bishops are seizing an opportunity to control the health care we all pay for, and they're being wildly successful," says Monica Harrington, the co-chair of Washington Women for Choice. A spate of proposed deals could leave Catholic facilities accounting for 50 percent of the state's hospital admissions. "We could very well end up with three conservative bishops overseeing health care for 6 million people," McCarthy says.

Abortion services are always quick to go when a Catholic hospital takes over, but the changes go much further. In many cases, doctors are prohibited from prescribing birth control, and hospital pharmacies won't sell it. Doctors may even be told not to counsel patients about it. Catholic hospitals have been reluctant to offer emergency contraception to rape victims, and when they do, they first require a pregnancy test to ensure the woman was not pregnant before the assault. The bishops' guidelines forbid tubal ligations and vasectomies. They also extend to end-of-life care: Catholic hospitals may ignore patients' requests to be removed from feeding tubes or life support, even if those wishes are expressed in living wills. And many states allow religious hospitals to discriminate against gays and lesbians, both as employees and as patients.


That article is from 2013 and it's only gotten worse:

Healthcare Denied At 550 Hospitals Because Of Catholic Doctrine

A disturbing new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and MergerWatch, “Health Care Denied,” finds that one in six hospitals in the U.S. are operated in accordance with Catholic religious rules, known as the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs).

While perhaps best known for prohibiting abortion, the restrictions go far beyond that, and impact more than reproductive health.

For women, the impact can be deadly.

Abortions are prohibited even if the fetus has no chance of survival and the mother’s life is in danger. Savita Halappanavar died of sepsis in Ireland because her physicians would neither terminate her doomed pregnancy to save her life, nor transfer her to a facility that would care of her. Tamesha Means was luckier. She survived. Despite starting to miscarry at 18 weeks’ gestation, she says that Mercy Health in Muskegon, Michigan, sent her home, denying her appropriate care and putting her life at risk. There are similar, less well-known cases here, detailed in the ACLU report. Not providing emergency care is a violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) requirement for hospitals that receive Medicare funding—and Catholic health systems receive billions in taxpayer dollars.

In “Growth of Catholic Hospitals and Health Systems: 2016 update to ‘Miscarriage of Medicine’,” MergerWatch reports disturbing growth in Catholic-dictated health care. Between 2001 to 2016:

–The number of acute care hospitals that are Catholic owned or affiliated grew by 22 percent, while the overall number of acute care hospitals dropped by 6 percent

– There are now five states (Alaska, Iowa, Washington, Wisconsin and South Dakota), where more than 40 percent of acute care beds are in hospitals operating under Catholic health restrictions

–In another five states (Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Oregon and Kentucky), between 30 and 39 percent of the acute care beds are in facilities that are Catholic owned or affiliated

Physicians at Catholic hospitals have to agree to abide by the ERDs as a condition of obtaining privileges. Depending in part on the whim of the local bishop, this could include gag rules prohibiting counseling a patient or referring a patient to a place that would provide necessary services.

In Washington state, data shows that 40% of all hospital beds are in a Catholic hospital. There is no other option for care in entire regions. This is especially true in rural regions, and it is frightening when the only access to healthcare is dictated by someone else’s religious doctrine, rather than medical science.


The RCC has influenced American politics for decades:

The Personhood Movement: Internal Battles Go Public: Part 2

In 1975, the National Conference of Catholic Bishops had developed a plan to turn every diocese into an anti-choice political machine and to use its existing infrastructure to set up an office in every congressional district. The bishops’ plan included a four-pronged legislative strategy, which continues to guide the anti-choice movement today:

(a) Passage of a constitutional amendment providing protection for the unborn child to the maximum degree possible.

(b) Passage of federal and state laws and adoption of administrative policies that will restrict the practice of abortion as much as possible.

(c) Continual research into and refinement and precise interpretation of Roe and Doe and subsequent court decisions.

(d) Support for legislation that provides alternatives to abortion.

In other words: fight for an amendment to undo Roe, but at the same time work through the courts and legislatures to make it harder for women to access legal abortion. While Roe would remain the law of the land, women would not be able to actually exercise their rights.


They were also behind the Hobby Lobby decision:

How the Catholic Church masterminded the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby debacle

The Catholic bishops now sought a broad-based conscience clause that would allow any employer or insurer to refuse to cover contraceptives for any religious or moral objection. This represented a major escalation in the grounds for claiming conscience protections. Traditionally so-called conscience clauses, like the 1973 Church Amendment, protected individuals or health care entities like hospitals only from being compelled to directly perform abortions or sterilizations in violation of their moral or religious beliefs. In 1997, the federal government expanded conscience protections to the payers of abortion-related services when it allowed Medicaid and Medicare managed-care plans to refuse to pay providers for abortion counseling or referral services. Now the bishops were attempting to extend conscience protection to any payer who had a “moral” objection to contraception. Such a measure would make contraceptive coverage mandates useless, because any employer or insurer could opt out. And it would once again leave women’s reproductive health care at the mercy of individual employers and insurers and stigmatize contraceptives, like abortion, as a segregated health service that could be carved out of the continuum of women’s health needs.

The bishops failed to get a broader conscience clause in the bill mandating coverage of contraceptives for federal employees, but they did manage to get an exemption for the five religiously affiliated plans in the system. Having set the precedent that religious providers would be treated differently concerning the provision of reproductive health care, even in the matter of noncontroversial services such as contraception, the bishops launched a major new effort to create broad conscience exemptions.


There was more at stake that just the bishops’ authority over services provided by Catholic institutions. Domestic and international social service agencies affiliated with the church, like Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services, receive hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts each year to provide social services to the poor, run adoption agencies, and manage international development projects. Catholic Charities affiliates received nearly $3 billion in government funding in 2010, accounting for more than 60 percent of their revenue. Religiously affiliated hospitals in the United States, of which 70 percent are Catholic, receive some $40 billion in government funding each year through Medicare and Medicaid and other government programs.


Women are suffering and dying because of this religious war and we need to recognize who our enemies are. Any organization that openly advocates restricting reproductive rights isn't an ally.

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Arrow 8 replies Author Time Post
guillaumeb Apr 2017 OP
Leith Apr 2017 #1
hunter Apr 2017 #3
Leith Apr 2017 #4
RedWedge Apr 2017 #8
LineNew Reply The religious right and particularly the RCC have been waging a war on our rights for decades.
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #2
Ilsa Apr 2017 #5
beam me up scottie Apr 2017 #6
guillaumeb Apr 2017 #7
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