Catholic Hospitals Are Multiplying, Impacting Reproductive Health Care
The rapid growth of Catholic-affiliated hospitals in the U.S. could significantly reduce access to inpatient sterilization procedures, according to a new study that examines the rising influence of religion on reproductive health services.
The study1, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, estimates that Catholic hospitals reduce the per-bed annual rates of inpatient abortions by 30 percent, and tubal ligations, or sterilization, by 31 percent.
Those impacts are being magnified by rapid consolidation among hospitals nationwide, a trend that resulted in a 22 percent increase in Catholic-sponsored or Catholic-affiliated hospitals between 2001 and 2016. The study found that the restrictions on reproductive health services at those facilities translates to more than 9,500 fewer tubal ligations per year.