Catholic Hospitals Have Provided More Than 20K Of The Sterilizations Bishops Oppose

I'm sure there's some mistake, because if this was true, it would mean that the Catholic Church's political attack against the Obama administration was mere posturing for the benefit of their right-wing buddies, and not a heartfelt defense of a religious position against abortion that, by the way, is younger than the Happy Meal:

U.S. Catholic bishops have vowed to fight the Obama administration's compromise on insurance coverage for contraception and sterilization, denouncing it as "coercive," "insulting," "unconstitutional," "belligerent," and "dangerous."

Yet there is evidence the sterilization services the bishops oppose have been provided by many Catholic hospitals across the country, including a few in the Philadelphia area.

Some evidence comes from news reports about bishops cracking down. In Texas in 2008, for example, two hospitals were ordered to stop doing the sterilization surgery, called tubal ligation. In Oregon in 2010, a hospital that refused to stop lost its Catholic status.

Last year, however, a more scientific look at sterilization practices was published as a doctoral dissertation at Baylor University by Sandra Hapenney, a Catholic in Waco, Texas.

Using standardized hospital discharge data, she found that between 2007 and 2009, more than 20,000 women who gave birth at Catholic hospitals in New Jersey and six other states then had their "tubes tied." Eighty-five hospitals - almost half of those providing obstetric services - were doing sterilizations to end fertility.

Among these were Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center in Camden and Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County in Willingboro, where Hapenney found that 282 women - 6 percent of those who gave birth - were sterilized in 2008 and 2009.

Catholic ecclesial and hospital authorities dismiss Hapenney's study as incorrect, although they won't discuss specifics.

Because if women want to get their tubes tied right after giving birth, they're going to give birth in a hospital that will perform the procedure. And as you may know, deliveries are a very profitable part of healthcare. I think you can figure out the rest.


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