Faith and religious practice play a key role in the lives of many patients and physicians, serving as a support system, a means of coping with life’s obstacles, and a force for healing. But what happens when religious ideology prevents women and men from getting the reproductive health care they need?
The growing trend of hospital mergers across the United States means that many communities rely on religious hospitals for comprehensive health care. Meanwhile, state and federal regulations allow individual health care providers to refuse to provide certain services—or even information about a patient’s options—as a result of their personal moral beliefs. Our physicians can offer an inside perspective on how religion affects the delivery of needed reproductive health services
What Our Doctors Are Saying
“I have spent years learning how to take care of women’s health. But because of my religious beliefs, I didn’t provide abortions right away. It took me a while to realize that by refusing to end a woman’s pregnancy when she decides abortion is the best course for her, I was compounding her suffering, the very opposite of my goal as a physician.”
—Physicians board member Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc The Daily Beast
- How religious restrictions and hospital mergers can affect reproductive healthcare
- Our position on institutional restrictions on healthcare
- Our position on individual refusal clauses
- Text of HHS regulations on conscientious refusal issued on December 18, 2008. The regulations allow a broad range of health care providers and institutions to refuse to provide certain reproductive health services.
- Six national medical organizations joined with Physicians to oppose the HHS regulations.
- A letter to President Obama urging him to overturn the HHS regulations.