The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the ACLU of Michigan have gone public with a lawsuit filed against the Trinity Health Corporation, a large religious hospital system.

The lawsuit alleges that the hospital system refused to perform certain medical procedures that could save pregnant mothers’ lives. Trinity Health Corporation has a strict policy against abortions and tubal ligations, but they have an exception policy that should allow these procedures in the event of a life-threatening situation. However, the hospitals often deny those requests.

One case is that of Jessica Mann, an expecting mother who is suffering from a brain tumor that could kill her should she become pregnant again. Mann’s doctor requested a tubal ligation, citing the tumor as life-threatening, but Genesys Hospital, the local religious hospital, denied the request.

Brooke A. Tucker, staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan, said:

We’re taking a stand today to fight for pregnant women who are denied potentially life-saving care because doctors are forced to follow religious directives rather than best medical practices. Catholic bishops are not licensed medical professionals and have no place dictating how doctors practice medicine, especially when it violates federal law.

Religion has no place in the current American healthcare system. Religious beliefs perpetuate archaic medical practices, such as denying women certain, much-needed medical procedures.

For more on this story, visit Addicting InfoACLU Sues Catholic Hospitals Who Would Let Women Die Rather Than Perform Abortions”

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Farron Cousins is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine and a contributing writer at DeSmogBlog.com. He also hosts the weekly DeSmogCAST and serves as co-host for Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV. His writings have appeared on Alternet, Truthout, and The Huffington Post. Farron received his bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced