Saturday, January 20, 2018

Report Says Women of Color Disproportionately Give Birth In Catholic Hospitals In 19 States

The Columbia Law School Public Rights/ Private Conscience Project yesterday released a new report Bearing Faith: The Limits of Catholic Health Care for Women of Color. The study focuses on racial disparities of women giving birth in Catholic hospitals governed by Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services.  According to the report:
The ERDs forbid hospitals owned by or affiliated with the Catholic Church ... from providing many forms of reproductive health care, including contraception, sterilization, many infertility treatments, and abortion, even when a patient’s life or health is jeopardized by a pregnancy. Catholic hospitals represent a large and growing part of the U.S. health care system. One in six hospital beds in the country is in a hospital governed by the ERDs....
This study finds that in nineteen out of the thirty-four states/territories that we studied, women of color are more likely than white women to give birth at hospitals bound by the ERDs.
The study found that in 12 states and one territory, Catholic hospitals disproportionately served white women, two states showed little disparity, and seven states had no Catholic birth hospitals.