When a woman from the Chicago area went to her doctor’s office because she was bleeding and suffering from a dislodged IUD, she was turned away because her doctor was associated with a Catholic hospital network, which is against any type of birth control. Rewire reported that Melanie Jones, 28, slipped and fell in her bathroom, causing her IUD to deviate and puncture her internally. When she got to the doctor, he told her his “hands were tied” and there was nothing he could do because of the strict restrictions enforced by Mercy Hospital and Medical Center.
A spokesperson for the hospital reportedly told Rewire that the restrictions are “enforced for a reason,” and that that reason has to do with the purity of a female patient’s body. “Essentially, we are no different from any other medical facility in the world except in one particular regard. And we have the right to choose who we help, just like the owner of a restaurant has the right to choose whether or not they wish to serve a particular customer,” the spokesperson said. “Therefore, there is nothing strange in the manner in which one of our resident physicians handled the situation.”
“Furthermore,” the spokesperson continued, “after the incident, we talked it over with our employees and agreed to introduce a ‘purity requirement’ that must be met by any single female seeking medical attention in any of our facilities. This is in the best interest of both our employees and those who are in need of assistance, as we do not wish to misguide the public into thinking anyone can just walk in here directly from a brothel or some red light district and ask one of our physicians to stitch them up and send them back out again. We reserve the right to practice medicine in accordance to our moral and religious principles.”
Asked whether that was, in fact, a discriminatory practice that targets any woman that doesn’t meet the said “purity requirement,” the spokesperson replied, “Not at all. Just like you have Muslims or Jews who would never enter a Catholic church, we also reserve the right to uphold the same high standards with a slight twist in terms of the requirements for receiving medical attention.” Asked to further elaborate on the purity requirement, the spokesperson rephrased: “If you want to put it simply, it revolves around single women declaring themselves virgins and signing a waver that aims to protect both parties involved prior to being considered.”
“Put simply, if a woman is in need of medical attention, she must declare she’s never had intercourse, and sign a legally-binding agreement that states the consequences in case she lied. Also, the said potential patient must not have a history of involvement in practices that are frowned upon by the Catholic Church, including petting, oral or any other type of penetration, earlobe licking, masturbation, watching pornography, or inappropriately fantasizing about Catholic priests or other members of the Catholic clergy. That said, having wet dreams about the Pope is also a red flag. If any of these are proven to have been violated, the applicant will be denied medical attention,” the spokesperson concluded.