In a study of sterilization and abortion practices in Texas Catholic hospitals compiled from hospital discharge data for the State of Texas, whistleblowing Catholic medical researchers found that Catholic hospitals reported at least 9,684 cases of sterilizations and 39 legally induced abortions from 2000-2003.

This news is based on an anonymous report which was highlighted in the July 13 edition of the Indiana-based magazine Our Sunday Visitor.

Reportedly, local bishops are looking into the matter.

Here’s a snippet of the report:

The identified hospitals and their respective healthcare systems are operated by religious orders of the Catholic Church who according to the Church’s Canon Law are subject to the authority of the Church. In their activities, they must faithfully observe the mission of their founders (Can. 578) and cooperate with the local bishop. In the United States, they are expected by the local bishops to operate according to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare (2001).

The study shows that all six US Catholic hospital systems operating in Texas do not follow these directives, or, arguably, the purpose and spirit of their founders.

I think further investigation is sorely needed but would anybody be shocked if this were the reality of the situation?

Because the hospital systems studied in Texas are nationwide, they believe the results are likely to be representative of current practice across the United States.

The four-person group who did the study is remaining anonymous, but Our Sunday Visitor spoke with one of the researchers through an intermediary. She explained that the group did the research and posted the results because they wanted the Catholic hospitals, and the religious sisters who own them, to be more transparent and accountable.

The researchers noted their concern that this situation could be widespread, and not confined to Texas.

The report was compiled based on coding used by hospital personnel and insurance companies for every medical procedure. The researcher told the magazine that they found 9,684 patient records with the ICD-9-CM code V25.2 that reads, “Sterilization — admission for interruption of fallopian tubes or vas deferens.”

The group acknowledged that the coding for abortion is complex and could indicate procedures that did not involve the killing of a live baby.