I’ve said this before, but it needs saying often. People don’t realize that it’s not just Ireland. It can happen here too, and it does. The National Women’s Law Center did a report on it two years ago.
A serious but little known problem is putting women’s health and lives at risk: because of their religious beliefs, certain health care providers do not give appropriate treatment to women experiencing serious pregnancy complications. A recent study by Ibis Reproductive Health entitled “Assessing hospital polices & practices regarding ectopic pregnancy & miscarriage management”  adds to the growing evidence that the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services have been applied to deny women experiencing both ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages the treatment and information to which they are legally entitled.
Like Savita, you see. Not just Ireland, you see.
Catholic-affiliated hospitals are governed by the Directives, which provide guidance. Most individuals and even many health providers presume that the Directives’ prohibition on the provision of a range of abortion services applies only to non-emergency pregnancy terminations of otherwise viable pregnancies. But the Study is consistent with anecdotal accounts that provide strong evidence that some hospitals and health care providers have interpreted the Directives to prohibit prompt, medically-indicated treatment of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy, placing women’s lives and health at additional and unnecessary risk, and violating the laws intended to protect patients from such serious lapses in care.
And oh look – how very familiar.
In some of the miscarriage cases described in the Ibis Study, the standard of care requires immediate treatment. Yet doctors practicing at Catholic-affiliated hospitals were forced to delay treatment while performing medically unnecessary tests. Even though these miscarriages were inevitable and no medical treatment was available to save the fetus, some patients were transferred because doctors could still detect a fetal heartbeat or required to wait until there was no longer a fetal heartbeat to provide the needed medical care.
You see? That’s Savita. It’s that simple. It happens here, too.