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ACLU files lawsuit against Catholic hospital

A wooden gavel rests on a short stack of legal papers.
A wooden gavel rests on a short stack of legal papers.
Flickr/Brian Turner

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A  San Francisco Superior Court will hear The American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit against Dignity Health today.

The ACLU’s lawsuit was prompted when the Catholic hospital denied a patient’s request for a tubal ligation. According to The Sacramento Bee, the hospital’s reason for denying Rebeca Chamorro’s request for the procedure was based on the religion’s stance on sterilization.

Elizabeth Gill, a senior ACLU staff attorney, has said that this is an example of denying a woman access to basic health care.

Should this case be considered discriminatory? Or should faith-based hospitals hold the right to deny procedures that are inconsistent with their values?


Ruth Dawson, Staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California. She tweets from @RuthWDawson

Bob Destro, Professor of law and founding director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Law & Religion at The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law