By Peter J. Smith

AUSTIN, Texas, July 17, 2008 ( – A Texas Catholic Bishop has stated he is “saddened” by an anonymous report that implicates Texas Catholic hospitals in performing abortions and sterilizations, which allegations the Texas bishops are currently investigating.

“Although the Diocese of Tyler is blessed to have two faithful Catholic Hospitals serving our communities, Trinity Mother Frances in Tyler and Christus St. Michael in Texarkana, I was greatly saddened to hear of a report that alleges Catholic Hospitals have engaged in sterilizations procedures that are immoral,” said Bishop Corrada, SJ.

The two hospitals in the Tyler diocese are among 23 hospitals operating in Texas’s six US Catholic hospital systems alleged to have performed a total of 39 abortions and 9684 sterilizations between 2000 and 2003. The report was posted on the whistleblower site, “Wikileaks.” The Catholic newspaper, Our Sunday Visitor, reports, however, that the data about the 39 abortions is “subject to interpretation and may involve morally acceptable procedures, like removal of a stillborn baby or emergency services for an abortion performed elsewhere.”

The report said Trinity Mother Frances in Tyler had reported 1619 sterilizations, and Christus St. Michael in Texarkana had reported 188 sterilizations and 1 legally induced abortion between the years 2000 and 2003.

Bishop Corrada stated, “Both hospitals have been in contact with the Diocese of Tyler and are cooperating in assessing the matter.”

The anonymous researchers say they obtained the government statistics from hospital inpatient discharge data that is reported to the Texas Health Care Information Collection Center for Health Statistics.

The Texas Catholic bishops report they are working with the Catholic hospitals in their dioceses to investigate the allegations and will conduct an independent audit.

Under directives established by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Catholic health care institutions must comply with the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services (ERD), which explicitly prohibits abortion and direct sterilization, grave violations of the Church’s moral teachings.

A spokesperson for the whistleblower group, which includes a biostatistician and a medical ethicist, said they released the information in order to increase awareness of the immoral practices Catholic hospitals were engaging in. They have remained anonymous for fear of retaliation.

To view the anonymous report:

To view the report statistics:

  To contact the Texas Catholic Conference:

1625 Rutherford Lane, Building D
  Austin, Texas, USA, 78754

Telephone: 512-339-9882
  Facsimile:  512-339-8670

See previous coverage by

Bishops Investigate Report: 39 Abortions, 9684 Sterilizations Performed in Texas Catholic Hospitals


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