Women of color bear the brunt of Catholic hospital restrictions on abortion, sterilization, contraception, gender-affirming procedures, and other care under religious directives.
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Historical, social, and economic issues are absent from medical charts, yet they all have important clinical implications.
The merger would have brought Methodist's hospitals in Gary and neighboring Merrillville under Catholic rules that generally restrict access to contraception, sterilization, abortion, certain fertility treatments, and end-of-life care.
And the stakes are high: For people with disabilities, Medicaid is an important lifeline as well as a facilitator to gainful employment.
The decision comes as the Supreme Court is set to examine the constitutionality of a similar California law.
"I can only assume the Justice Department is proudly publicizing this first denaturalization because we're going to see ramped-up efforts to denaturalize people. I find this very distressing," said one expert.