I have always had issues with my period, causing me to be out of school for long periods of time. Since I was younger, I’ve been on birth control to regulate my period, but never got answers as to why my menstrual cycle was so irregular. In 2018, I was visiting a friend in Chicago, when all of a sudden I had a sharp pain in my stomach. I was transported to the closest emergency room, in what turned out to be a Catholic hospital.

I was in the hospital for 12 hours, and they kept doing all of these tests that indicated that my ovaries seemed twisted, but they said they couldn’t treat me in case I was pregnant, and that they couldn’t risk harming a life, even though I told them multiple times that I was not pregnant. They kept worrying that I was hiding a pregnancy, so they refused to treat me further. Instead they asked if I wanted someone to pray with me as I suffered through this pain. I just wanted them to treat my pain. I ended up going to a different hospital, while still in immense pain, and they immediately diagnosed that I had a dermoid cyst, which had ruptured. I finally had surgery a week later.

I never would have chosen to go to a Catholic hospital if I’d had a choice. They denied me the tests that I needed, and at the same time I racked up thousands of dollars in medical bills for unnecessary tests. They prolonged my pain and threatened to cause further infection.

The fact that UC is thinking of putting its own doctors in Catholic hospitals where they would have to treat patients like I was treated is shocking. Catholic hospitals deny so many people health care that they need. UC’s justifications why it needs to put UC doctors in Catholic hospitals don’t make any sense, and I hope that they reconsider and protect their patients from having traumatizing, and potentially life-threatening, experiences like I did.