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ACLU files a lawsuit against a Catholic hospital for refusing to perform a tubal ligation.

Fred Dufour / Getty Images

Get pumped for our next huge religious liberty battle! This time, rather than businesses covering contraception or bakeries making cakes for gay weddings, the contest is between a patient who asked for a tubal ligation during a scheduled C-section procedure, and the Catholic hospital that rejected her request for religious reasons.

According to an article posted to the ACLU’s blog today, the ACLU’s Northern California chapter has filed a lawsuit against Dignity Health’s Mercy Medical Center on behalf of patient Rebecca Chamorro and Physicians for Reproductive Health. The suit alleges that refusing “pregnancy-related care” for non-medical reasons is illegal in California.

Chamorro is due to deliver her baby by C-section in January, at which time she has requested to have her tubes tied. While her doctor was willing to run the request by the hospital, Dignity Health refused, citing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ position that voluntary sterilization is intrinsically evil. Now, Chamorro and the ACLU have filed an emergency motion seeking to prevent the hospital from refusing the ligation on religious grounds so that the procedure can go ahead as requested in January. 

A hearing is scheduled for January 5th.