Half of US Catholic hospitals do sterilizations, report suggests
Nearly half of the Catholic hospitals in the US perform sterilizations, according to an extensive study.
In a doctoral dissertation presented at Baylor University in Texas, Sandra Hapenney studied 176 Catholic hospitals, across 7 states.
Of those hospitals, 85—or 48%--performed tubal ligations. Hapenney’s study of hospital records found over 20,000 cases of direct sterilizations at those institutions between 2007 and 2009.
The Catholic Church teaches that direct sterilization is intrinsically wrong.
The inclusion of coverage for sterilization in the Obama administration’s health-care plans has been the subject of a keen debate in recent weeks, with Catholic bishops saying that Church-related institutions cannot in conscience subsidize the procedure.
Hapenney’s research covered Catholic hospitals in seven states, representing a cross-section of the US: California, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Texas and Washington. In some cases, the bishops of the dioceses in which the hospitals were located have said that they believe the institutions are in compliance with Church directives, despite the occurrence of sterilizations.