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Report: 1 in 4 Michigan hospital beds are in Catholic hospitals

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

A new reportsuggests it’s getting harder to get reproductive health care at Michigan hospitals.

A series of hospital mergers in recent years means more hospitals in Michigan are part of a Catholic health system.

A new report from the American Civil Liberties Union finds one in four hospital beds in Michigan is in a Catholic hospital. Nationally, it’s about one in six. In some parts of Michigan and the U.S., Catholic hospitals are the only local health-care facility.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops advises hospitals not to perform abortions and sterilizations. The bishops also discourage Catholic hospitals from promoting contraception.

That worries Brooke Tucker, an attorney with the ACLU of Michigan. 

Tucker says Catholic hospitals don’t provide access to the kind of reproductive health services readily available at non-religious hospitals – even though they are open to the public, take taxpayer funds and do not tell the women that that is what they are doing,” says Tucker. 

A federal judge recently tossed out a lawsuit to force Catholic hospitals in Michigan to provide reproductive health services at non-religious hospitals.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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