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The Mayo Clinic Health System — Franciscan Healthcare hospital is seen in La Crosse, Wis. It is one of at least 40 Catholic, or Catholic-affiliated hospitals in Wisconsin. Alisa Ivanitskaya / Wisconsin Watch

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Catholic hospitals can refuse to provide certain types of reproductive care – even when doing so can be more costly, inconvenient or put a woman’s health at risk. This care includes sterilization, long-lasting forms of contraception and abortion.

Catholic hospitals are not required to advertise which services they refuse to provide or even that they are Catholic. A full list of Catholic hospitals in Wisconsin can be found here. 

Wisconsin Watch, in partnership with the Cap Times and the Fuller Project for International Reporting, is investigating religious health care restrictions in Wisconsin’s Catholic hospitals. 

We need your help to tell the story.  

Don’t know what these restrictions are or if you’ve been impacted by them? You’re not alone. Catholic hospitals are not required to advertise which services they refuse to provide or even that they are Catholic.

Types of care Catholic hospitals may not provide include: 

  • Abortions, even when it’s an emergency 
  • Sterilizations such as tubal ligations and hysterectomies
  • Some forms of contraception, even in cases of rape 
  • Artificial reproduction such as in vitro fertilization

If you are a patient, physician or family member who has experienced refusal of care at a Catholic hospital, or you have any related tips, we want to hear from you. Email our reporters at tips@wisconsinwatch.org, text or call us at 608-285-2408‬, or write to us at Wisconsin Watch, Fifth Floor, Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706. You may also fill out our Google Form. 

Your responses will not be published without your permission. We will grant sources anonymity if deemed necessary for protection. 

The nonprofit Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism (www.WisconsinWatch.org) collaborates with Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television, other news media and the UW-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication. All works created, published, posted or disseminated by the Center do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of UW-Madison or any of its affiliates.

Republish our articles for free, online or in print, under a Creative Commons license.

Parker Schorr is a public affairs reporting fellow for the Cap Times newspaper in Madison, Wis. As part of the fellowship, Schorr is embedded in the Wisconsin Watch newsroom focusing on in-depth stories of statewide interest. Schorr joined the Center in May 2019 as an investigative reporting intern. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism and Mass Communication, holding degrees in journalism and sociology. He has interned for University Communications and worked as an editor at The Badger Herald, one of UW-Madison’s student newspapers.