American Civil Liberties Union v. Trinity Health
What's at stake
- The freedom of religious institutions to operate according to their faith
- The freedom from being forced to participate in abortion
- The freedom to choose healthcare that shares your faith and pro-life values
Trinity Health operates 90 hospitals in multiple states. One of its purposes is carrying out the mission of Catholic Health Ministries on behalf of and as an integral part of the Roman Catholic Church. In accordance with Catholic Doctrine, Trinity follows an Ethical and Religious Directive that states: “Abortion (that is, the directly intended termination of pregnancy before viability or the directly intended destruction of a viable fetus) is never permitted.” The Directive allows Catholic hospitals to take steps to save the life of the mother, even if that may unintentionally and indirectly result in harm to her unborn baby.
The ACLU sued Trinity, claiming some of its members might be harmed by this Directive in emergency situations where complications arise during pregnancy. It asked the Court to rule Trinity’s refusal to intentionally perform abortions violates the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, and the Rehabilitation Act, and to enter an order forcing Trinity to reject its Catholic beliefs and commit abortions.
Our role in this case
Alliance Defending Freedom represents three medical organizations that were allowed to intervene in the case on behalf of Trinity: Catholic Medical Association, Christian Medical and Dental Associations, and the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists. We are defending the freedom of the doctors who are members of these organizations to practice medicine in accordance with their deeply held religious belief that abortion is murder. We seek to protect conscience rights statutes that have been on the books in the United States for decades ensuring the freedom to practice pro-life medicine.