One-third of all hospitals in Wisconsin are associated with the Catholic Church. That’s the highest percentage in the country. Catholic hospitals are subject to the Ethical and Religious Directives written by the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops. Some of these directives are benign, such as requirements for service to the poor, but some, such as prohibitions against contraceptive surgery or abortion, can affect the quality of care to patients. The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has published a series of stories on the impact of Catholic religious edicts on medical care. Parker Schorr is a public affairs reporting fellow with the Capital Times, and is currently interning with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.
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