Bishops sued over hospital abortion policies

Great legal tactic:

The American Civil Liberties Union announced on Monday that it had filed a lawsuit against the nation’s Roman Catholic bishops, arguing that their anti-abortion directives to Catholic hospitals hamper proper care of pregnant women in medical distress, leading to medical negligence.

The suit was filed in federal court in Michigan on Friday on behalf of a woman who says she did not receive accurate information or care at a Catholic hospital there, exposing her to dangerous infections after her water broke at 18 weeks of pregnancy.

In an unusual step, she is not suing the hospital, Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, but rather the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Its ethical and religious directives, the suit alleges, require Catholic hospitals to avoid abortion or referrals, “even when doing so places a woman’s health or life at risk.”

The suit opens a new front in the clash over religious rights and medical care. The Catholic Church has fought against requiring all health plans to include coverage of contraception and is likely to call the new lawsuit an attack on its core religious principles.

Catholic hospitals account for about one in six of the country’s hospital beds and in many regions their influence is spreading as they forge alliances with non-Catholic medical groups.

“This isn’t about religious freedom, it’s about medical care,” said Louise Melling, deputy legal director of the civil liberties union, in a telephone news conference on Monday.

2 Responses to Bishops sued over hospital abortion policies

  1. imhotep December 3, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    At some point wise folks are going to conclude that suing whomever, in this case the Catholic Bishops, is counter-productive. Especially when the Supreme Court has 5 Roman Catholic consrvative judges sitting on it. Let’s look at the case of Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission. We all agree that the decision in that case has been a disaster. But who forced that suit to go to the Supreme Court? Remember “Hillary: The Movie?” That was a propaganda film produced by the right wing Citizens United organization. The Clintonites forced the Federal Elections Commission to take a stand on whether it was legal for it to be shown or not. The FEC said that it was not and the rest is history. Sometimes it’s more prudent not to engage in a battle even though your cause may be just. Because a win isn’t always a win and a loss can bring about horrible unintended consequences. Either the Clintonites didn’t give a damn about the unintended consequences or they were to stupid to know that they could happen or the result that they got was the result that they wanted all along. There are no other available options.

  2. Cos December 3, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    I like it!

    Sue ’em, then sue ’em again….and keep suing them! If there is one less dime for the Catholic Bishops to use to LOBBY our government in violation of all things 501C3, then sue them until their only accounts payable disbursement is to the lawyers.

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