Redding's Mercy Medical Center has refused -- for the second time in four months -- to allow doctors to perform sterilization on two pregnant women. The women requested the procedure be done immediately after they give birth next year. The hospital cited religious reasons.
The American Civil Liberties Union and Physicians for Reproductive Health have sent a letter to Dignity Health, which owns Mercy Medical, saying they will go to court if the issue is not resolved by Wednesday evening.
In August, another woman, Rachel Miller, was initially refused her request for tubal ligation -- commonly known as having "tubes tied" -- but the hospital relented and approved the procedure, after the ACLU threatened legal action.
Dignity Health says its general policy is not to provide sterilization unless necessary for the "cure or alleviation of a present and serious pathology."
Since Miller's case was resolved, these two additional women have requested, in consultation with their obstetrician, tubal ligation to be performed immediately after they give birth.