Taking Health Care to Church

Religious doctrine is dictating health care options in a growing number of rural communities across America..

Estimates show that 1 in 6 hospital beds in the US are Catholic-owned or affiliated. From 2001-2016, as the number of hospitals in the US shrank, Catholic hospitals expanded by 22%.

In these communities, “Catholic doctrine, and how the local bishop interprets that doctrine, will decide what kind of care she can get,” write Anna Maria Barry-Jester and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux. That means services such as abortion, birth control, vasectomies, tubal ligations and other services can be denied as a matter of policy.


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