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Tennessee Women to Have Fewer Options for Reproductive Health

August 15, 2008

Early this year, I posted on the Knoxville, TN merger of the city’s Baptist Hospital into St. Mary’s (a Catholic system) and the resulting end of access to tubal ligation and vasectomy at Baptist. Access to tubal ligation is now being eliminated at a Nashville, TN Baptist facility as well, as WKRN reports – Baptist Women’s Treatment Center will no longer offer tubal ligation after the end of this year.

WKRN also reports that this change “comes six years after Baptist Hospital and Middle Tennessee Medical Center stopped offering the procedure,” because “the hospitals were acquired by Saint Thomas Health Services, a Catholic health ministry, in 2002.”

A Baptist Hospital spokesperson reportedly issued a statement explaining that “Baptist Hospital and Middle Tennessee Medical Center remain committed to providing and expanding women’s services so more women will have the opportunity to get their care at our hospitals.”

Which sounds like the exact opposite of what has actually happened since 2002 and is happening at the Women’s Treatment Center, unless you believe that “women’s services” only means birthin’ babies – the spokesperson also explained, “Saint Thomas Health Services remains the market leader delivering more babies than any other health system in Middle Tennessee.”

[Thanks to B for letting me know about this]

12 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2008 11:00 am

    So it doesn’t matter if you’re Catholic or not, just because a Catholic system owns the hospital, they refuse to do tubal ligations and vasectomies? Talk about forcing your beliefs on those who don’t practice what you preach.
    How sad that these religious fanatics are so afraid of women that they have to attempt to keep us barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen. Are women actually that powerful that this is the response they think will keep us powerless? Talk about living in the dark ages, I really thought we had gotten beyond women being chattel, but evidently not as it seems we’re heading back in that direction.

    • Tom Massey permalink
      May 17, 2009 6:19 pm

      What options do single mothers or fathers have? They aren’t allowed to kill their babies. A friend of mine needed a kidney. Anonymously, I found out that I was a good match. I could have taken the cowards way out and let him die. We need to encourage young women to love their babies, not kill them. If you want your tubes tied, there are plenty of places to have it done. Liberals are the new facists. “Everyone must think like I think” is the cry of the feminazi.

    • May 17, 2009 9:35 pm

      Tom Massey you are not even trying. Not only are you neglecting the difference between parenthood and the inherent conflict created when one being lives inside another, but to simultaneously dismiss all liberals as “new facists” while decrying anyone else as demanding that others think like they do is just hilarious.

    • Tom Massey permalink
      May 18, 2009 2:07 am

      Laugh at me when you have a losing argument. That should make you feel better.

      No one is saying that you can’t have your procedures. I am more Pro-choice than anyone. But to say that a privately held hospital has an obligation to perform procedures that they find morally repulsive is itself morally repulsive.

      If you were a lover of freedom, I would think you would be saying “I think they’re wrong, but it’s a free country”.

      You should be careful when you call it a “being” living inside a woman. Someone might think that you mean that a fetus is some form of human, which would make it a “human being”.

      Why can’t we admit that a human fetus is a human being? Seriously. What are they gonna do? Pass laws against pregnant women entering boxing matches? They can’t take away a woman’s human rights. Even if she wants to kill a human fetus. God gave women complete power over the human fetus. Nothing can change that, no matter if we think it’s right or wrong.

    • May 18, 2009 2:16 am

      I totally admit that a fetus is human and living. However, I think there is a conflict inherent when one being resides inside another and has the potential to cause harm. I just think it’s ironic for you to be so self-assured while accusing others of thinking everyone must think how they think.

    • Tom Massey permalink
      May 18, 2009 8:52 am

      First, thanks for the dialogue. I love it.

      Second, we are in agreement that in a pregnancy, one human being is living inside another human being. Conflicts will arise, and only one of the 2 human beings has any power.

      Next, what rights do YOU think should be afforded to the helpless human being by the human being with POWER?

      I am committed to keeping these decisions in the hands of the woman and out of the hands of the government. But yes, insisting that a hospital is wrong for following their conscience is facism. They are CORRECT to follow their conscience. It is INCORRECT to critisize that. We should be encouraging everyone to follow their conscience.

      The truth is that, on our side (PC), there are many who simply refuse to admit that they want to protect the killing of helpless human beings. They can’t face that freedom is more important. If they admitted that these were human beings, they couldn’t support the killing of over 1,000,000 innocent human beings every year.

      I want to reduce those numbers through education. Big Government is the WRONG answer to almost every question. Now, we have big government and big business getting together. we are in big trouble.

  2. August 15, 2008 11:02 am

    Vesta, that’s correct – it doesn’t matter if the patient is Catholic, the whole system is just not providing those services to anybody. I’d really like to know how this is affecting women re: insurance and choice of providers.

  3. August 15, 2008 3:44 pm

    quite depressing

  4. August 17, 2008 2:18 pm

    Rachel, the way I see it, if their insurance is not accepted at another hospital, people will have to pay out of pocket for these procedures. The thing is, I’d say that when most people are choosing a health insurance provider, things like tubal ligation and many other procedures, are not even thought until it the need for the procedure is staring them in the face.
    Many of the bare-bones policies that employers are switching to, don’t even cover pregnancy, much less tubal ligation. Pregnancy is a “special rider” under TNBCBS coverage, so unless one is thinking of or wanting to get pregnant and specifically chooses to add the extra coverage, all their preganacy related drs visits/hospitalization are out of pocket. TN BCBS also includes elective abortions as an exclusion in all of their policies.
    Aetnas health care policies do not cover pregnancy, except pregnancy related complications.
    I couldn’t find a listing of exclusions for Cigna, United Health group, or Wellpoint — these are the 5 top health insurers in TN.

    Even though we live in a state where the mentality of women must breed takes precedent of a woman’s overall health, health insurers don’t seem to cover this major, body-changing experience.

  5. August 18, 2008 6:03 am

    Its a shame this is happening………more services should be available.

  6. Rosanne permalink
    August 18, 2010 11:32 pm

    Tennessee never was progressive in mindset, but in the 12 years I’ve lived here, they have become as backward and regressive as can be. First they wooed foreign companies to Nashville, and then they clamored for English only. The TN legislature continues to oppose exceptions to their abortion ban in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of a pregnant woman! Lastly, we have hospitals making it impossible to practice birth control (tubal ligations and vasectomies) because their version of the Bible doesn’t allow them to use their brain! There is a reason TN is one of the worst places in the USA for woman to live; The Status of Women in the United States:


  1. TN Hospitals Reducing Health Care for Women « The Crone Speaks

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