PARRCH 2: A qualitative follow-up to the patient awareness of religious restrictions in Catholic healthcare survey
Abortion, Contraception
Awarded 2017
Large Research Grants
Lori Freedman, PhD
University of California, San Francisco

Catholic hospitals care for one in six US patients and follow the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Services, which prohibit abortion, contraception, sterilization, and certain treatment for obstetrical complications. Defenders of institutions’ rights to refuse this care argue that women can simply choose other providers. But, if women are not aware of the hospital’s affiliation or how Catholic institutions restrict reproductive care, then they do not have a meaningful choice. The proposed research is the second phase of our SFP supported research to measure women’s awareness of their hospital’s religious affiliation and the related implications for care. Last year we surveyed a nationally representative sample (n=1,430) of women ages 18-45 drawn from AmeriSpeak, a probability-based research panel operated by NORC at the University of Chicago. Of the women surveyed, 881 agreed to be recontacted for an interview. We will partner with AmeriSpeak again to recontact a subset of survey respondents representing a hard to reach population: Women who have sought reproductive healthcare in Catholic facilities, whether by choice or not. We have the tremendous recruitment advantage of knowing a great deal about the demographics and healthcare experiences of the women who took the survey. We will solicit participation from a demographically and experientially balanced sample and conduct qualitative telephone interviews. The resulting data will generate evidence useful in policy work in order to address the way religion can be used to limit standard care.