Catholic or not, give women choice
Catholic Healthcare West’s decision to become a secular medical provider may well allow it to be more Catholic in the long run. The major difference between Catholic health care providers and their secular counterparts is in the provision of reproductive health services. The majority of bishops have decreed Catholic institutions should not provide contraception or abortion care. However, Catholics across the nation use and support these services at the same rate as do non-Catholics. Ninety-eight percent of sexually active Catholic women use a method of contraception banned by the Vatican. Only 14 percent of Catholics agree with the Vatican that abortion should be illegal and studies show that Catholic women have abortions at the same rate as do other women.
It will be a welcome change if Catholics and non-Catholics alike can access the reproductive health care they need at these hospitals without navigating obstacles imposed by the local bishops.
This letter was originally published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.