The San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that the ACLU is threatening to sue a Catholic hospital in Redding, California because it refuses to perform sterilization procedures. Rachel Miller who is scheduled to have her second child in late September wants a tubal ligation performed at the same time. Her Catholic hospital in Redding, California-- owned by Dignity Health-- refuses to permit the procedure under its Ethical and Religious Directives. Miller would have to travel 160 miles to find a hospital that will take her insurance and perform the procedure. California law permits Catholic hospitals to refuse to perform abortions, but not other pregnancy-related procedures. The ACLU contends that the hospital's refusal amounts to sex discrimination and violates California's ban on the corporate practice of medicine by allowing a corporate entity's religious beliefs to override a doctor's medical decision.
UPDATE: CBS San Francisco reported on Aug. 25 that Mercy Medical Center has now approved the tubal ligation procedure for Rachel Miller.