Angela Valavanis was pregnant with her fourth child when she was told that she needed a c-section after hours of being in labor. As part of her birth plan, she had requested to have a tubal ligation (tubes tied) in the event that she would have a c-section while she was already on the operating table and under anesthesia. However, she was denied the tubal ligation because the hospital where she delivered her baby was a Catholic hospital. Stories like Angela's are far too common in Illinois where there is a law on the books that allows health care provides to deny care and even information to patients based on religious objections. The ACLU of Illinois reached out to Angela for her to share her story as a means of advocating for a bill that is currently before the Illinois House which would amend this dangerous law. Angela also shared her story in an article for Yahoo Parenting, which also quotes the Director of the ACLU of Illinois' Reproductive Rights Project, Lorie Chaiten:

“What we know for a fact is that lots of women aren’t getting the full conversation about their treatment options,” Lorie Chaiten, director of the Reproductive Rights Project at the ACLU of Illinois, tells Yahoo Parenting. “When Angela’s doctor sold her practice, [Angela] was entitled to know that it would limit her choice. She wasn’t told, and as a result she wasn’t able to make an informed decision about her care.”

The same is true for a patient who is denied information about other procedures, like abortion, Chaiten says. “A patient who is miscarrying at 18 weeks might go to the hospital thinking she is going for pregnancy care,” she explains. “When she gets there and the provider understands that the pregnancy is over and that she is at risk for infection, they need to tell her all of her options. One option is to ride it out, but another is to terminate, and if they don’t tell her that, she hasn’t been able to make an informed choice.”

Read the entire article.