As I wrote in this feature, Catholic hospitals are taking over local hospitals, imposing their religious morals on patients' healthcare, and denying access certain legal treatments (abortions, information about physician-assisted suicide, even access to birth control) to their patients.

The ACLU of Washington has created two maps that depict the reaches of religious healthcare in Washington state. The first map shows what counties are currently dominated by religious hospitals. (As you can see, it includes the most populous counties.)

The second map shows what will happen should 10 proposed Catholic hospital mergers be completed in western Washington.

Click to enlarge.
  • ACLU of Washington
  • Click to enlarge.

Basically, the difference between the two maps is that all hospitals in Skagit, Snohomish, and Kitsap county would become religiously affiliated, as well as over 50 percent of hospitals in Grays Harbor. This means that in these counties, accessing comprehensive healthcare could become much harder as residents find themselves at the brutal mercy of the Catholic church.

For more information on what the ACLU of Washington is doing to raise awareness about the potential impacts of these mergers, go here.