Protest of UCSF affiliation with Dignity Health (Catholic Health Care) and its implications for reproductive and LGBTQ health care

Dear all,


Attached please find a letter to the UCSF Chancellor and the CEO of UCSF Health protesting their new affiliation with Dignity Health. 


Here are a few excerpts from the letter, written on behalf of the ACLU of Northern California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and the National Health Law Program:


“In 2017, UCSF Health announced a formal affiliation with several Dignity Health hospitals in the Bay Area, and we understand from information presented by UCSF at the University of California Regents Health Services Committee (the “Committee”) meeting on December 11, 2018, that plans are underway to expand this partnership beyond the Bay Area, perhaps throughout the University of California system.  UCSF has publicized this partnership as a strategic alliance of two distinguished and long-serving Bay Area providers recognized for clinical excellence and missions to provide affordable care to all.  However, Dignity Health, along with other Catholic health care entities, imposes significant religious restrictions on the care it permits in its facilities.


…All Catholic health care, including Dignity Health’s Catholic hospitals, must adhere to policy proscriptions issued by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (the “Conference of Catholic Bishops”), some of which are spelled out in the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (the “ERDs”). Catholic health care entities are explicitly prohibited from providing a range of reproductive health services, including contraception, sterilization, and abortion; the ERDs go so far as to characterize these procedures as “intrinsically evil.”


…Thus, it is particularly troubling that UCSF would choose to partner with Dignity Health, when UCSF has long presented itself as committed to the very kind of care that Dignity Health refuses to provide—comprehensive reproductive health care and LGBTQ-inclusive care. Dignity Health’s practices blatantly contradict UCSF’s own professed Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Diversity and Excellence (PRIDE) Values, community principles articulated in solidarity with the “integral cultural concept” within the LGBTQ community, representing solidarity, collectivity, and identity as well as resistance to discrimination and violence.”


There will be an in-person protest at UCLA at the Bruin statue on April 9th, probably at 9 AM.  See the attached flyer for more information and contact name to sign up.


This is an important issue and we hope that many of you will get involved.


For those at UCSF, please share the attached letter widely with your colleagues.


Best wishes,

Paula Tavrow