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Mon Feb 17, 2020, 07:18 AM

Women of Reproductive Age May Be Stuck With Catholic Health Care, Nearly 2 In 5

'Nearly 2 in 5 Women of Reproductive Age May Be Stuck With Catholic Health Care,' Truthout, Feb. 15, 2020. Excerpts:

Nearly two in five women of reproductive age may face restricted access to services like abortion, contraception and sterilization, because they happen to live in a county where Catholic hospitals make up a high share of the market, according to a sweeping new report in JAMA Network Open. In the first-ever study of its kind, researchers analyzed patient discharge data in almost every U.S. county to determine the market share of Catholic hospitals.
They discovered that in 35 percent of U.S. counties, Catholic hospitals have a high or dominant market share, meaning they make up more than 20 percent of patient discharges. Combined, these counties serve an estimated 39 percent of U.S. women of reproductive age.

The findings have important implications for access to reproductive health care in these communities. Patients in Catholic hospitals have had their care dangerously delayed while suffering miscarriages, been pressured into burying their miscarried fetuses and had their gender-affirming surgeries canceled on religious grounds. But many patients have no choice but to go to one of these hospitals, the study shows. In 101 counties, Catholic hospitals had a market share of more than 70 percent. In seven U.S. counties, that share was more than 90 percent, data provided by the researchers to Truthout showed.

“If you thought about a particular type of phone having 80 percent of the market, that would be shocking to people, right?” said Marian Jarlenski, an author of the report and assistant professor at University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health. “We thought it was interesting and significant just how many counties fell into that range of more than 20 percent of the market, of all the hospital discharges, being attributable to Catholic hospitals,” Jarlenski added.

While legal restrictions on reproductive health care have proliferated in Republican-led states in the South, the study underscores how Catholic hospitals tend to dominate areas of the country that are seen as more progressive on reproductive health access, including the Pacific Northwest..Whether a patient is forced to seek care in a Catholic hospital depends not only on where they live, but on their insurance network. A study last year in Contraception found that in the Chicago area, Medicaid-managed care plans were disproportionately funneling women of color into Catholic facilities...

More, https://truthout.org/articles/nearly-2-in-5-women-of-reproductive-age-may-be-stuck-with-catholic-health-care/

Also: Terminally Ill Patients Face Obstacles To Assisted Dying As Catholic Hospitals Expand

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