The Lobby Room is opening early this year with the urgent issue of Catholic doctrine in health care. The final proposal for the merger has been filed with the State and the merger is progressing. Our letters will be aimed at state level action to set guardrails to protect our rights to healthcare.
Join us for a letter writing party!
Advocates for Women will be holding a letter writing party for all interested in this topic on Sunday January 10, 2-3:30 pm. Please contact A4W@euuc.org for more information.
Should half of Washington hospital beds be affected by Catholic doctrine?
The proposed merger of Virginia Mason and CHI Franciscan will put more than 50% of Washington hospital beds under the jurisdiction of Catholic doctrine. In the Seattle area, only the University of Washington hospitals will remain in secular hands, and in Tacoma, only Tacoma General will be secular. It is too late for folks up in Bellingham where only religiously affiliated hospitals exist. You may remember that last year we wrote letters in the Lobby Room to ensure that health care workers at religiously affiliated institutions could not be gagged from informing patients of medically approved options open to them. That bill was signed into law, but it does not affect the health care that a person may receive at Catholic hospitals.
The limitations of the Catholic edicts impact:
- Birth control
- Care for pregnancy emergencies, including miscarriage
- Care for Trans individuals
- End-of-life care
The edicts apply to all Catholic health care facilities, in every state.
In pregnancy emergencies, early and safe interventions are denied at Catholic hospitals.
This is just one of many true stories reported by the ACLU, where real women’s suffering was increased due to Catholic policies. “Maria”, a mother of two in our state, was seen at a Catholic hospital because of heavy bleeding during a miscarriage. She was denied immediate uterine evacuation because a fetal heartbeat was still present. Maria’s health insurance would only cover services at this hospital, so she was advised to stay and let her body continue naturally. By the time the hospital acted, Maria’s iron levels had dropped to a dangerously low level, and she required a blood transfusion. Unfortunately, that is not the end of the story. The transfusion was mismatched in a way such that Maria’s next pregnancies would be at risk for sudden fetal demise. In cases even worse than this one, the maintenance of a fetus that could never survive trumps the health of the woman – severe consequences including permanent disability or death can occur.
If you want to learn more, the ACLU published a report in 2016 that describes specific cases where medically inappropriate care was given and debunks myths about the ability to obtain care
Take action by writing to key state officials
For names, addresses and drafts please click on this link. You can then download the word file to your computer so you can work directly from it. Contact A4W@euuc.org if you need some assistance! Important: Please let us know that you wrote letters or emails by completing this 1 minute form.
You will hear more from the Lobby Room on this topic and other urgent issues relating to Climate, Racial Justice and Women’s rights.
Submitted by Advocates for Women in the Lobby Room