(WKBN) – With uncertainties surrounding Roe vs. Wade, some local women are raising concerns about the inability to have a tubal ligation locally.

Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure to prevent pregnancy. It’s commonly referred to as, “getting tubes tied.”

However, most Catholic hospitals do not provide this service.

Doctors working in Catholic hospitals are required to adhere to the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services. Directive 53 states: “Direct sterilization of either men or women, whether permanent or temporary, is not permitted in a Catholic health care institution.”

In the Mahoning Valley, the only birthing centers are at Catholic hospitals. This means that a patient cannot get the procedure done during a cesarean (C-section) delivery.

“It’s so sad that women don’t have that option in this community. The health risks are just unnecessary,” said Dr. Tara Shipman, OB-GYN.

Shipman says this policy makes it difficult for women to have the procedure.

“The woman’s already under anesthesia, she already has an abdominal incision. We’re right there. It’s an additional two minutes, if that, onto her procedure. She then has one recovery,” she said.

But, since the patient cannot have it during a C-section, the patient must have a separate procedure done. This raises costs and creates health risks, Shipman said.

“She then has to come back six weeks after her delivery, have a general anesthesia… She then has a second incision, increased risk with abdominal surgeries, and a second recovery… Every time you have surgery, you are assuming additional risks,” she said.

Shipman says a patient will pay several thousand dollars more to have a separate procedure than if it were done at the time of a C-section. She also said she has seen many unintended pregnancies during that six-week waiting period as well.

One woman inquired about the procedure when she was talking with her doctor about her child’s birth. When she was told she would have to have a separate procedure done, she felt disappointed.

“I understand religion, but as a female and having to already go through the stress of, you know, just being nervous about going under to begin with, to have to go under a separate time, for something you could do right there, 30 seconds and you’re done, I just think that’s not right,” said Samantha Stone.

Stone said she decided she wanted a tubal ligation after finding out she was pregnant with her third child, but now, she won’t be having the procedure done.

“It just never crossed my mind that you would have to do a whole separate procedure to get the same result that could happen during your C-section,” she said.

Shipman says she has hope that policies will be changed.

“I do think that public pressure could change their opinion on this,” she said.