* These stories are becoming common…
* The New Yorker: How Illinois Became an Abortion-Rights Haven
* Vice: Blue States Are Finally Worried About Abortion — And They’re Doing Something About It
* Chicago Magazine: In a Changing Midwest, Illinois Doubles Down on Roe
* But Stephanie Goldberg throws some cold water on the hype at Crain’s…
Despite a new law enshrining reproductive health care as a “fundamental right” in Illinois, hospital industry trends are restricting the availability of contraception, sterilization and abortion.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker last month signed the Reproductive Health Act, eliminating virtually all state restrictions on these procedures. At the same time, consolidation is bringing more Illinois hospitals under the control of expanding Catholic organizations that don’t provide the full range of reproductive care.
With hospitals under pressure to gain market share, control health care costs and increase profitability, many financially strong Catholic chains have bulked up—acquiring both faith-based and secular facilities along the way. Catholic hospitals follow a set of rules that prohibit or sharply restrict contraception, fertility treatments, sterilization procedures and abortions.
As they impose those strictures on acquired hospitals, some women have to travel farther to find facilities that provide such services. That’s especially true for women covered by most Medicaid managed care insurance plans in Cook County, which rely heavily on Catholic hospitals. […]
Some 38 percent of Cook County hospitals with labor and delivery departments are Catholic, according to the report. Meanwhile, Catholic hospitals represented more than 38 percent of in-network hospitals for five of the seven available Medicaid managed care plans in 2018, limiting patients’ options for family planning services, Stulberg says.
Women of color in the county have even fewer options: 85 percent of black and Hispanic women were enrolled in one of the five plans with a heavily Catholic network, compared with 75 percent of white women, the study finds. Meridian Health Plan and NextLevel Health had the lowest percentages of in-network Catholic hospitals, with 37 and 36 percent, respectively.