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MEETING ROOM (ENTER by way of 55 Washington Square South)

Bearing Faith: The Limits of Catholic Health Care for Women of Color

by The Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

For questions or further information regarding this program, please contact Liz Boylan at eboyla@law.columbia.edu, or 212.854.0167.

Event Description:

This month marks the 45th anniversary of Roe v Wade, the landmark case that affirmed a person’s constitutional right to an abortion. Yet today doctors and healthcare institutions are allowed to withhold this right in the name of religion. On January 19th, The Public Rights/Private Conscience Project is pleased to present a panel discussion upon the release of its report: "Bearing Faith: The Limits of Catholic Health Care for Women of Color." This report, written in partnership with Public Health Solutions presents new research finding that women of color in many states disproportionately give birth at hospitals that place religious ideology above best medical practice. Across the country, Catholic hospitals are governed by strict guidelines that prohibit doctors from providing contraceptives, sterilization, some treatments for ectopic pregnancy, abortion, and fertility services regardless of their patients’ wishes, the urgency of a patient’s medical condition, the doctor's own medical judgment, or the standard of care in the medical profession. In many states, women of color are far more likely than white women to give birth at Catholic hospitals, putting them at greater risk of having their health needs subordinated to religious tenets. This finding is especially troubling given that women of color already face a range of health disparities, which increase their need for comprehensive reproductive health care.