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Letters & Op-Eds - 2000

Modern Healthcare

Religion Shouldn’t Dictate Healthcare Services

Frances Kissling

31 July 2000

When Chicago Archbishop Cardinal Francis George opposed an American Medical Association resolution that would have required Catholic hospitals that take federal money to provide sterilizations and other reproductive health services ("Matters of principle," June 19, p. 6), you can be sure he did not present the viewpoint of many American Catholic women.

A recent survey by Catholics for a Free Choice found that 77% of Catholic women prefer to have a community hospital that performs sterilizations and 91% prefer a hospital that offers birth control. The poll also found that 80% of Catholic women believe that all hospitals that deliver babies should allow doctors practicing there to perform sterilizations requested by women patients. In addition, 82% of Catholic women believe that if a Catholic hospital receives government funds, it should allow doctors working there to provide any legal, medically sound service the doctors believe is needed.

American women believe that religious positions should not be allowed to determine the kinds of basic healthcare services that are available in their communities.

Frances Kissling
President Catholics for a Free Choice

This letter appeared in the 31 July 2000 edition of Modern Healthcare.