PBS ‘Pregnant People’ Propaganda: Catholic Hospitals ‘Restrict Reproductive Health Care’

From the introduction by weekend anchor John Yang: Tonight on PBS News Weekend, with hundreds of thousands of Americans relying on Catholic hospitals, why some people are facing barriers to reproductive health care….” Aren’t “people” who get pregnant generally referred to as women?

Yang later got specific with the silly woke terminology, a religious bow to the trans movement as well as denial of 5th-grade biology: “Pregnant people.” (And Yang has done it before.)

(Would PBS prefer no Catholic hospitals – i.e. no care — at all?)

Prodded by Yang, Pradhan noted the Catholic Health Association “took issue with our story. After it came out, they released a statement that said that it perpetuates myths about Catholic health care.” Pradhan “stood by her reporting.”

Yang forgot the required LGBTQ recitation for a second.

PBS News Weekend

3/17/24

7:05:36 p.m. (ET)

JOHN YANG: Every year, more than 3.6 million babies are born in the United States. And according to KFF Health News, more than a half million of them are about 16 percent are delivered in Catholic run hospitals. In most cases there no complications and the birth is much like one in any hospital.

But if there`s an emergency pregnant people can find themselves caught between accepted medical standards and the religious base policies of Catholic run facilities. KFF Health News found that for nearly 800,000 Americans, there`s little choice. They have only Catholic or Catholic affiliated birth hospitals within an hour`s drive.

KFF Health News reporter Rachana Pradhan is one of the writers of the story, which is the product of almost two years of reporting. Rachana, you talked to a lot of women who had complications while being treated in Catholic run hospitals. What did they tell you? What is there a story, one particular story that sort of emblematic to you?

RACHANA PRADHAN, Reporter, KFF Health News: Absolutely, John. And I will say that, in particular, talking to clinicians, like physicians and nurse practitioners and other medical clinicians that treat patients in these hospitals, really were the ones that shared incredible stories with us.

One in particular involves a nurse midwife who spoke with me who used to work, do deliveries at a Catholic hospital in Maryland, she encountered a woman who showed up at this hospital because her water had broken before her fetus was viable, so the baby would not survive outside of the womb.

And what she told us was, this patient expressed a desire to terminate the pregnancy because she knew that there was little chance of survival. And what happened was, as this nurse midwife told us, the doctor said that they couldn`t do anything, because there were still detectable fetal heart tones.

And so their hands were totally tied. That is not often what would happen in a non-Catholic hospital, and goes against accepted medical standards for treating that kind of pregnancy complication.

JOHN YANG: What are some of the sort of the range of medical choices that clinicians and healthcare providers would want to make or have wanted to make at a Catholic general hospital but have not been allowed to because the hospitals policies?

RACHANA PRADHAN: I think, in particular, what we found based on talking to clinicians, reading research, and also talking to patients are that these very fraught and difficult situations in which someone`s pregnancy goes awry, in which a complication happens that`s quite serious and could obviously threaten the viability of that baby.

In situations like that, these ethical and religious directives that apply to Catholic health care facilities, essentially, what they say is that these hospitals are prohibited or limited in doing certain procedures that the Catholic Church finds to be immoral.

So overarchingly what this can affect is care during pregnancy complications, it can affect birth control the availability of birth control at these facilities. And in situations like the one I just talked about, it means that the pregnancy terminations may not be offered. Because these Catholic healthcare standards, the baby is still alive. And so that would constitute an abortion and they are obviously opposed to abortions.

JOHN YANG: Do these hospitals have any policies on referrals, referrals to other facilities that might be able to do those things?

RACHANA PRADHAN: Yes. So the Catholic health directives do address referrals. And this doesn`t only apply to pregnancy terminations, but other types of care too, namely, procedures that can prevent pregnancy. So both men and women, frankly, vasectomies, or let`s say, a woman who wants to get her fallopian tubes removed because she does not want to have any more children.

They`re also restricted from making referrals. Because in the eyes of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is the organization that crafts these directives, and the church, a physician referring for a procedure or care that they have deemed immoral, that also goes too far.

And so it can limit the ability for a patient to receive care at another facility, or at the very least, they have to take it much more upon themselves to figure out where they might be able to go because the Catholic health care facility cannot get so involved.

JOHN YANG: to the church leaders like the diocesan Archbishop`s, did they have a role in the medical policies of hospitals?

RACHANA PRADHAN: So the ethical and religious directives are really broad guidelines. And what we learned is that, depending on a particular Bishop of a particular diocese, sometimes policies will apply more strictly in certain places than others.

And so I think that`s actually, at least based on the conversations we have with clinicians, I think that`s actually part of the frustration is that these things are not black and white. And they can change depending on who essentially is in charge. And the bishops obviously have a role in this. They`re not based on what we learned. They`re not the ones who are making these difficult calls in certain situations to provide health care, but they are responsible for overseeing enforcement of the directives broadly.

JOHN YANG: What do Catholic hospitals say? Or how did they they responded or reacted to your reporting?

RACHANA PRADHAN: Well, the Catholic Health Association, who we spoke with for our story before it published, they say that the ERDs, as they are known, do not prevent physicians from providing medically indicated care, especially in these situations involving very serious potentially life threatening pregnancy complications. And they also took issue with our story. After it came out, they released a statement that said that it perpetuates myths about Catholic health care.

I will say that we stand by our reporting, as you noted, we worked on this for nearly two years and talk to many, many, many people, including patients, doctors, nurse practitioners, midwives, and others who have really studied this field a lot, and could very clearly state what the impacts are on patients.

JOHN YANG: For women who feel that they were not treated properly or didn`t receive the proper medical treatment at these hospitals. Is there any legal recourse for them?

RACHANA PRADHAN: So broadly speaking, most of the states in the country, we found have liability shields for hospitals, when they refuse to perform certain types of care because of moral or religious objection. And those laws exist all over the US. And they apply to at least some hospitals in every not every state, but really the vast majority.

For other types of medicine for a whole host of procedures, you could potentially take up a medical malpractice case against an individual provider or a hospital. But in these situations, basically what state law says in the states is that the hospitals are shielded from being held liable in these types of situations.

JOHN YANG: Rachana Pradhan of KFF Health News, thank you very much.

RACHANA PRADHAN: Thank you, John, for having me.

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