Colorado Democrats in Congress urge Catholic hospital in Durango to reverse policy banning tubal ligations |

Colorado Democrats in Congress urge Catholic hospital in Durango to reverse policy banning tubal ligations

All five Colorado Democrats in the U.S. House signed a letter urging Mercy Hospital to reconsider its decision, which was publicized in a Colorado Sun story

Jennifer Brown
The Colorado Sun
An aerial view of Durango looking west toward Smelter Mountain on the left, U.S. 160/550 running toward Perins Peak and the La Plata Mountains in the background.
Josh Stephenson/Special to The Colorado Sun

DURANGO — All five of Colorado’s Democratic U.S. representatives are condemning a decision by Mercy Hospital in Durango to stop allowing women to get their tubes tied, issuing a joint statement Thursday urging the Catholic hospital to reconsider. 

“Every Coloradan, regardless of their zip code, has the right to bodily autonomy and deserves access to the full spectrum of reproductive health care — including permanent birth control measures,” the representatives said in an emailed news release. “As the only hospital in Durango with a maternity ward, Mercy Hospital’s decision to no longer provide patients with tubal ligations, including after a c-section, undermines Coloradans’ right to access the care they need.”

The reaction comes after a recent story in The Colorado Sun about the Catholic hospital’s “reeducation” of doctors and staff about the Catholic directives, which prohibit sterilization for the purpose of birth control. 

The statement is signed by U.S. Reps. Diana DeGette, Yadira Caraveo, Jason Crow, Joe Neguse and Brittany Pettersen. All are part of the Congressional Pro-choice Caucus, of which DeGette, of Denver, is a co-chair. 

The hospital posted a statement on its website in September saying that Mercy is “responsible for conducting itself in a manner consistent with the ethical principles of the Catholic church ministry.” Doctors told The Sun they were informed that beginning April 15, they can no longer provide post-cesarean section tubal ligations, a sterilization procedure in which the fallopian tubes are cut. Women who have decided not to have more children often have their tubes tied immediately after a C-section, when they are already under spinal anesthesia, sparing them from having to schedule a separate surgery. 

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