Access for women to a full range of reproductive health services continue to shrink, as a proposed hospital merger will leave Waterbury, Connecticut without options not controlled by by the Catholic Hospital Association and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Via Women’s ENews:
Tubal ligation may not be available in the new replacement hospital in Waterbury, Conn.
Emergency abortion and contraception could also be dropped.
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The hospital merger still faces review by the state’s attorney general and commissioner of public health and a public hearing in early fall.
But if it goes through the city of about 110,000, will see its two existing hospitals–the non-profit Waterbury Hospital and the Catholic for-profit Saint Mary’s Hospital–become one.
Under an existing agreement, the new hospital–which would be only 10-percent Catholic owned–would adhere to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Services, rules set by the U.S. Conference of Bishops, based in Washington, D.C.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the problem is that Saint Mary’s will not allow the new, combined hospital to consider any workarounds for providing full-spectrum reproductive health services, yet is asking the state to partially fund the new replacement hospital.
Opponents note that denying women who want it the option of having a tubal ligation post-partum means they will be forced to go to another city to give birth.