According to a recent report called "Bearing Faith: The Limits of Catholic Health Care For Women of Color," 52 percent of black women in Wisconsin give birth at a Catholic hospital.
Kira Shepherd, director of Columbia Law Schools Racial Justice Program, is behind the study.
She says the number of women giving birth at Catholic institutions is alarming given that Catholic Hospitals have Ethical Religious Directives that allow them to deny certain procedures that could be done at non catholic institutions.
“They’re being discriminated against legally because of the Ethical Religious Directives. And a lot of times when they’re women of color sometimes racial bias comes in as well, so they’re really not given the type of treatment they need,” explains Shepherd.
She notes the goal in highlighting the Ethical Religious Directives is to not only raise awareness, but also to push for legal changes that at the very least require Catholic hospitals to inform people about the care they are not receiving there so people can go elsewhere.