Sorry, hon, the nearest non-Catholic hospital is 500 miles away

More on the Let Women Die bill.

An even more controversial aspect of the bill would allow hospitals that are morally opposed to abortion, such as Catholic institutions, to do nothing for a woman who requires an emergency abortion procedure to save her life. Current law requires that hospitals give patients in life-threatening situations whatever care they need, regardless of the patient’s financial situation, but the Protect Life Act would make a hospital’s obligation to provide care in medical emergencies secondary to its refusal to provide abortions.

Notice that it’s hospitals. Not individual doctors or nurses (which would be more than bad enough) but whole hospitals. Imagine being a pregnant woman with skyrocketing blood pressure who has the bad fortune to be at a hospital that likes to refuse to do abortions. Oh darn, get off the gurney and go find another hospital…if you can live that long.

“Congress has passed refusal laws before, but it’s never blatantly tried to override emergency care protections,” said Sarah Lipton-Lubet, policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union. “We’ve heard proponents of this bill say that women don’t need emergency abortion care, but that is really just willful blindness to the facts.”

Congress – the US Congress, the House of Representatives, our democratically elected representatives – is saying “let women die if your religion says you have to, that’s fine with us, we’ll make it legal and safe for you.”

According to the American Journal of Public Health, Catholic hospitals already have a years-long history of ignoring the emergency care law to avoid performing abortions. In late 2009, an Arizona bishop excommunicated a nun who authorized an abortion procedure for a woman who otherwise might have died of pulmonary hypertension at a Catholic hospital in Phoenix.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) said she personally faced a situation in which an abortion was medically necessary.

“I was pregnant, I was miscarrying, I was bleeding,” she said on the House floor Thursday. “If I had to go from one hospital to the next trying to find one emergency room that would take me in, who knows if I would even be here today. What my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are trying to do is misogynist.”

Because the colleagues know, god hates women.


  1. Saikat Biswas says

    This is what religion does when you allow it to acquire political power. This is what it does unless you domesticate and neuter it.

  2. jamessweet says

    What my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are trying to do is misogynist.

    And in this case, misogynist in the most truest sense of the word.

    When someone propagates stereotypes about women, we call that misogynist (and I’m not opposed to this, it’s a convenient word) even if the person does not hate women and is not trying to attack women.

    This policy is a bald-faced attack against women. It is misogynist in every possible sense. Yikes.


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