ACLU sues US bishops over Catholic hospital directives; case involves pregnant Mich. woman

Published December 02, 2013

| Associated Press

The American Civil Liberties Union is taking aim at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and its ethical guidelines for Catholic hospitals.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal court in Michigan accusing the bishops of being negligent for barring certain treatments or the mention of the treatments such as abortion.

The lawsuit was filed in the case of a pregnant woman whose life was at risk from premature labor. The ACLU says Mercy Health Muskegon hospital didn't tell her that she should consider terminating her pregnancy because the bishops' guidelines barred mention of abortion.

The lawsuit was filed amid a wave of mergers between Catholic and secular hospital systems. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops says it can't comment because it hasn't been officially notified of the lawsuit.