ACLU wants feds to investigate Catholic hospitals' ban on sterilization procedures


The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint against a Flint-area Catholic hospital with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

The complaint says Ascension Health and its subsidiary, Genesys Health System, would not allow doctors to perform a medically necessary tubal ligation on a pregnant woman with a brain tumor.

According to the complaint, Jessica Mann was a Genesys patient for 16 years and had given birth to her first two children at Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, south of Flint. When she was pregnant with her third child, she planned to deliver again at Genesys. Because a pre-existing brain tumor could be life-threatening during pregnancy and childbirth, her doctors recommended she undergo a tubal ligation at the time of her scheduled cesarean delivery.


Apparently the ACLU and the author of that piece don’t understand what “necessary” means.


While I will give you it is much easier to do surgery like this at the same time as a C-section, the whole idea of a “medically necessary” sterilization procedure is crazy.

There has to be a lot more to this story. Does the woman agree with the doctors? There is no other way for her to prevent pregnancy while being treated for the brain tumor? This seems to be one of those cases where ABC could be used licitly.

Seems more like sensationalism and anti- Catholic rhetoric than actual news reporting to me. :mad:


So freedom of religion should be trampled on because this lady wants to give birth at the same hospital as her other two kids? I don’t think so, deliver somewhere else or go get the other procedure at a later date at a different location. This lady’s convenience does not overrule someone else religious freedoms.


Can you explain how? My understanding is that hormone therapy and surgical methods can be employed if they are therapeutic (i.e. to treat a medical problem), but I don’t see how that would be the case here. Taking the Pill or employing a barrier method isn’t going to treat the tumor.

It would seem to me that if pregnancy definitely has to be avoided, the moral option for this woman would be abstinence (either periodic [NFP] or total until treatment is completed). If she’s not Catholic she may not care about that, but it’s strange to me that nobody seems to think of that anymore. :shrug:

There have also been advances in cancer treatment for pregnant women. I hope and pray this woman recovers, but I think it would be an injustice to tell her she has to shut off a healthy, functioning part of her body to treat another part.


The woman’s doctors do.


The article indicates they don’t.


I, along with most priests I know, do not hold to a.strict blackberry & white interpretation of ABC. Sometimes there are pastoral concerns that we may not know about. Long term abstinence can put a huge strain on a marriage, especially one that is already strained by illness. Anyone in this situation should consult with their own priest and not seek answers on the internet.


It might be helpful to quote from Catholic doctrine, rather than paraphrase un-named sources.

From the banned topic section of CAF:
“Asserting credentials as a clergyman, religious, theologian, or legal or medical professional, on which members might rely to their detriment, when the credentials cannot be verified to the satisfaction of CA staff.”


The ACLU is free to start funding their own hospitals that follow whatever principles they desire.

I work in insurance follow up in a Catholic hospital (actually, it’s multiple Catholic facilities across three states). I happen to know that it is explicitly written into our contract that because we are a Catholic hospital, no procedures inconsistent with Catholic principles will be performed at our facilities.


If Clinton is elected, it won’t just be the ACLU. We’re about to see the power of government come down on all Catholic institutions, and in a serious way.


The complaint argues that Ascension and Genesys’s policy is a form of sex discrimination, and asks the federal authorities to step in to make sure that the health systems comply with the non-discrimination requirements of Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act as a condition to receiving federal funds like Medicare and Medicaid.

Assuming that this Catholic hospital does not provide vasectomies along with tubal ligations, where is the sex discrimination?

I was under the impression that ABC is never morally licit within a Catholic moral framework.


Well look at the opinions expressed by some of Hillary Clinton’s aides in those a Wikileaks emails! If those are the views that some of the people surround her have, it doesn’t bode well. The ACLU has been trying to go after Catholic hospitals for quite a while.


“A nation always gets the kind of politicians it deserves. If a time ever comes when the religious Jews, Protestants, and Catholics ever have to suffer under a totalitarian state, which would deny them the right to worship God according to the light of their conscience, it will be because for years they thought it made no difference what kind of people represented them in Congress, and because they abandoned the spiritual in the realm of the the temporal”.

  • Bishop Fulton J. Sheen


According to our nation’s higherups, we’re allowed to vote for Hillary with clean conscience apparently. :shrug:

Maybe Hillary will be our punishment for our sins, lukewarmness and indifference.



On 10/27, I posted this article about a new “research agenda” funded by pro-abortion/contraception organizations seeking to force Catholic institutions to perform those procedures and got no replies. The “acknowledgements” section of article posted on HuffPost included the ACLU staff attorney that had originally sued Trinity Health.

Now, it’s clear how the ACLU of Michigan’s involvement in planning that “research agenda” is now part of their strategy to get Federal government and courts on their side. That’s what PP did after the 1955 Arden House conference… that’s how they got doctors and lawyers on their side. THAT’s why I think pro-lifers need to work on long-term issues (e.g., science, do new studies, culture changes) and not just politics!

That is why I’ve put together this strategy.


Most priests you know openly reject Church teaching on birth control? :eek:


Is that what I said?!

NO!! :mad::mad:

What I said was that most priests I know do not speak in absolutes about ABC, especially when they are counseling couples with serious issues/reasons to avoid pregnancy.

I then said that it would be best for someone in this type of situation to talk with their priest, as HE WILL GIVE THE BEST ADVICE TO THE COUPLE, AS HE KNOWS THEM AND THEIR SITUATION.

The opinions on this forum will not be helpful at all!!


Priests need to be very careful about how much gray area they create. The following is from Pope Pius XI following the 1930 Lambeth Conference where the Anglican Church broke from Christian teaching and allowed ABC:

“If any confessor or pastor of souls, which may God forbid, lead the faithful entrusted to him into these errors [contraception / sterilization] or should at least confirm them by approval or silence, let him be mindful of the fact he must render a strict account to God, the Supreme Judge, for betrayal of His sacred trust, and let him take to himself the words of Christ: “They are blind and leaders of the blind: and if the blind lead the blind, both fall into the pit.”


I agree that priests need to be careful.
However, as someone who has been in a situation that called for pastoral sensitivity on this matter, I am so very glad my husband & I talked to priests who knew us, and our situation, and gave us very good, theologically sound advise-FOR THE SITUATION THAT WE WERE IN AT THE TIME!!

Life is not always as black & white as the people on this forum want to make it.
When in doubt, it is always best to speak to one’s own priest!

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