In a complaint filed with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the ACLU asked the state agency to investigate and stop enforcement of a policy of Mercy Regional Medical Center, a Catholic Hospital in Durango. The complaint asserts that the hospital is relying on the Catholic Ethical and Religious Directives to prohibit physicians from discussing the option of pregnancy termination even when continuing the pregnancy threatens a patient’s life. The ACLU charges that the policy violates Colorado law by interfering with a physician’s professional medical judgment and violates federal law by depriving patients' of full information about their medical conditions and their medical options. 

After investigation, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment concluded that the complaint fell outside of the agency's jurisdiction.

ACLU news release:



ACLU case number



Mark Silverstein, ACLU of Colorado Legal Director; Sara J. Rich, ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney