Vatican Will Only Let Infertile Women Get Hysterectomies at Catholic Hospitals January 17, 2019

Vatican Will Only Let Infertile Women Get Hysterectomies at Catholic Hospitals

The Catholic Church is known for opposing birth control, vasectomies, tubal ligations, and anything else that might get in the way of a possible pregnancy. Now it’s going even further. The Vatican says it will only approve hysterectomies for women who can prove that pregnancy is a life-threatening condition — or if a doctor decides that her uterus is “no longer suitable for procreation.”

Anyone else who needs a uterus removed in a Catholic hospital will have to figure out a Plan B.

If “medical experts have reached the certainty” that any future pregnancy would end in a “spontaneous abortion” before viability, then the patient can have a hysterectomy, because it won’t have the (immoral) effect of sterilizing them, the Vatican said late last week.

… In the United States, directives issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops govern one in six acute-care hospital beds; in some states the number is closer to halfIn at least 46 regions nationwide, a Catholic hospital is the only accessible option.

“Life-threatening” can have multiple definitions. In my case, my anti-depressants are incompatible with a growing fetus — having to go nine months without them could be life-threatening. Children are also expensive: parents who go into poverty because they can barely take care of themselves, let alone a growing child, could also stake a claim to a possible life-threatening condition.

Women on Twitter responded to this decision with stories of their own:

You would think that the Catholic Church would consider it a lesser evil to prevent pregnancies than abort them. The bottom line is, men who can’t get pregnant and will never have the responsibility of raising a family have no business telling women what to do. Yet their decisions will impact countless women who will only find that out after it’s too late.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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