JUNE 27, 2013 (THUR.) 6:30PM                                                      









Will Religion Control Our Health Care?

As Hospitals Merge, Will Catholic Doctrine Determine

What Care You Get?

It’s a trend these days:  Catholic hospitals are being swallowed up nationwide by secular hospitals as the religious hospitals increasingly go bankrupt. But when a Catholic hospital merges with a secular hospital, a strange thing happens: the Catholic doctrines stay in place within the combined hospitals.

It was back in 1997 that a patient phoned NY State Family Planning and said she could no longer get birth control at the outpatient clinic of her hospital in Troy, NY because her secular hospital had merged with a religious hospital and the outpatient clinics of that secular hospital no longer provided birth control to its patients.

The news was startling to health advocacy groups in New York, who had not realized this was happening.  They soon realized this is a national issue, and in due course, MergerWatch project was born.

The MergerWatch project, based in New York City, is dedicated to the principle that patient’s rights must come before religious doctrine, says Sheila Reynertson, advocacy coordinator for MergerWatch.  She points out that there are numerous ways that patients’ care may be restricted by religious doctrine, including:

  • Pharmacists may refuse to fill prescriptions for contraceptives and other medicines they view as morally unacceptable.
  • Hospitals can ban any treatment that conflicts with religious doctrine.
  • Employers and health plans may refuse to provide health insurance coverage for contraception, sterilization or abortion.
  • Physicians may refuse to provide fertility services to families they find "morally unacceptable."
  • Politicians responding to religious conservatives may enact laws that make it difficult for patients to refuse end-of-life treatment.


If you care about your medical care, if you care about getting the treatment you want and need without the interference of religion, come to hear Sheila Reynertson on Thursday, June 27th at the NYC Atheists’ monthly meeting.

Come and hear about this unforeseen danger from the imposition of religion on the public welfare.  It is an alert brought to you by NYC Atheists in our ongoing effort to inform you of the dangers of religion’s infiltration into the schools, hospitals and other public institutions of our country.


WHAT:   “WILL RELIGION CONTROL OUR HEALTH CARE?” a talk by Sheila Reynertson, advocacy coordinator of the MergerWatch project, an organized effort to save our health care from the restrictions of religious doctrine.


WHEN:    Thursday, June 27, 2013 - 6:30 P.M.


WHERE:  The SLC Conference Center - 15 West 39th St. (Just off 5th) - 3rd Floor


COST:       We suggest a voluntary donation of $10. Students and unemployed exempt.


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  • Duke Z.

    Looking forward to it.

    June 27, 2013

  • Jane E.

    I have to admit I did not know this was going on in hospitals. I wonder if they would kick out a young girl who came in to the emergency room with a botched abortion. That could endanger her life.

    June 24, 2013

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