The following comes from a December 28 SF Chronicle article by Bob Egelko:
A physicians group and a woman who was denied a tubal ligation at a Catholic hospital in Northern California on religious grounds filed suit Monday, saying the rejection was sex discrimination and an illegal refusal of medical care.
The suit against Mercy Medical Center of Redding and its parent company, Dignity Health of San Francisco — the state’s largest owner of private hospitals — could test the dividing line between the right to reproductive care and a provider’s religious objections.
The woman, Rebecca Chamorro, 33, of Redding, has two children and is due to give birth to her third by cesarean section in late January. She and her husband say they have decided not to have more children, and their doctor has agreed to perform the tubal ligation immediately after delivery, when the operation is most commonly carried out.
Lawyers for Chamorro and the doctors group told Mercy Medical Center officials in a letter that California law “does not permit hospitals open to the general public and supported by public funds to deny patients medically indicated pregnancy-related care. Nor does it permit corporate entities to elevate their theological tenets over patient health.”
The hospital denied the same surgery to another Redding woman, Lynsie Brushett, who was initially part of the case but then suffered a miscarriage, the ACLU said.