Investigation finds policies at Catholic-run hospitals restrict reproductive health care

Rachana Pradhan, Reporter, KFF Health News:

Absolutely, John. And I will say that, in particular, talking to clinicians, like physicians and nurse practitioners and other medical clinicians who treat patients in these hospitals, really were the ones that shared incredible stories with us.

One in particular involved a nurse midwife who spoke with me who used to work, doing deliveries at a Catholic hospital in Maryland, she encountered a woman who showed up at this hospital because her water had broken before her fetus was viable, so the baby would not survive outside of the womb.

And what she told us was, this patient expressed a desire to terminate the pregnancy because she knew that there was little chance of survival. And what happened was, as this nurse midwife told us, the doctor said that they couldn’t do anything, because there were still detectable fetal heart tones.

And so their hands were totally tied. That is not often what would happen in a non-Catholic hospital, and goes against accepted medical standards for treating that kind of pregnancy complication.

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