Stop Catholic Church From Denying Pregnant Woman Medical Treatment

Target: Sylvia Matthews Burwell, United States Secretary of Health and Human Services

Goal: Disallow Catholic control of hospital and healthcare policies.

Five women in the past seventeen months have arrived at Mercy Health Partners Hospital in the midst of a miscarriage. In this situation, the protocol for almost any medical professional worth his or her salt is to induce labor immediately; however, these five women were allegedly denied this procedure and misinformed about their options until the mother showed signs of sepsis because of hospital regulations determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). These women were reportedly not even advised to transfer to a different hospital which would have provided them with the necessary medical treatment in a more timely manner.

The Catholic hospital affiliation has not only placed a ban on abortions, but it also has prevented women access to birth control or sterilization procedures. By far, the most dangerous ban is the medical aid of a miscarriage. All five of these women had similar symptoms that indicated the need to deliver immediately, and all five were allegedly denied this medical procedure until they were mortally threatened. One woman was reportedly provided with Tylenol when she had a potentially deadly infection, and she was sent home where she had a miscarriage on the toilet. Another woman reportedly suffered in the hospital for three days before requiring invasive surgery, which would have been unnecessary if the hospital had induced labor.

We have the medical knowledge and technology to provide women with safe procedures when their bodies are rejecting a fetus. Furthermore, we have the ability to provide women with birth control and sterilization when they are unable or unwilling to have future children. The USCCB should no longer be allowed to make policies that interfere with a professional’s medical training and the Hippocratic Oath.

By signing the petition below, you will demand that the secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services prohibit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from preventing women access to necessary treatment. Women cannot be viewed as simply baby-making entities, but instead as human beings with equal rights to health services, regardless of whether they are pregnant or not.


Dear Director Frieden,

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has placed a ban on abortions to all affiliated hospitals, with a very narrow exception of when the mother’s life is indubitably threatened. This has allegedly recently led to a series of dangerous and potentially fatal miscarriages in Mercy Health Partners, a Catholic-affiliated hospital, in the last 17 months.

Catholic funding of these hospitals allows the medical professionals to deny treatment to women, and failure of proper medical advisement that would have led to faster, easier, less expensive, and less dangerous treatment. These five women suffered preventable psychological damage, advanced infection, and unnecessary surgery due to the fact that the USCCB reportedly forbade Mercy Health Partners from inducing labor upon the miscarriages.

I am urging you to prohibit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops from preventing medical experts from providing safe and necessary healthcare. Please take actions to enforce policies that provide patients with their right to unbiased healthcare.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Rod Waddington

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242 Signatures

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