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Tipsheet

Court Dismisses Lawsuit That Would Have Forced Catholic Hospitals to Perform Abortions

A federal court has dismissed the case American Civil Liberties Union v. Trinity Health Corporation, which sought to force Catholic hospitals and staff members to perform abortions regardless of their religious beliefs or personal objections to the procedure.

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The suit was filed by the ACLU in October of 2015. Trinity Health is one of the largest Catholic hospital systems in the country.

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, in its dismissal order in American Civil Liberties Union v. Trinity Health Corporation called the ACLU’s claims of harm from the hospital system’s pro-life position “dubious,” explaining that they haven’t satisfied the legal requirements to demonstrate such harm and therefore bring a lawsuit.

The court additionally found that, for those reasons and others, the lawsuit is not “ripe for review,” meaning that nothing has happened to warrant court action: “Obviously, pregnancy alone is not a ‘particular condition’ that requires the termination of said pregnancy. To find the claim to be ripe for review on the facts pleaded before this Court would be to grant a cause of action to every pregnant woman in the state of Michigan upon the date of conception. Accordingly, the alleged harm has not risen beyond a speculative nature and is not ripe for review.”

A good decision. Conscience rights need to be protected, and Catholic hospitals have a right to not be forced to violate their beliefs.

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