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Dec 03 2013

In extreme distress and with an infection

Now I want to single out this one part of the ACLU press release for close attention.

Tamesha Means rushed to Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, Michigan, when her water broke after only 18 weeks of pregnancy. Based on the bishops’ religious directives, the hospital sent her home twice even though Means was in excruciating pain; there was virtually no chance that her pregnancy could survive, and continuing the pregnancy posed significant risks to her health.

Because of its Catholic affiliation and binding directives, the hospital told Means that there was nothing it could do and did not tell Means that terminating her pregnancy was an option and the safest course for her condition. When Means returned to the hospital a third time in extreme distress and with an infection, the hospital, once again prepared to send her home. While staff prepared her discharge paperwork, she began to deliver. Only then did the hospital begin tending to Means’ miscarriage.

You see it? 18 weeks. Her waters broke. She rushed to the hospital. She was in excruciating pain. The hospital told her there was nothing it could do. She developed an infection.

It’s Savita Halappanavar all over again. Check, check, check, check, check, check. The difference is that she had the very good luck to start delivering before the infection got such a hold that she couldn’t be saved. But it was only luck. It was nothing to do with the hospital. The hospital sent her home to die of a miscarriage.

I hope her lawsuit puts them out of business. I hope it makes such a stink that Congress finally realizes that bishops shouldn’t be forcing women to die of miscarriages. I hope all Catholic hospitals start being told to obey the law or get out of the hospital business. I hope the ACLU eats their lunch.

9 comments

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  1. 1
    mastmaker

    Amen (to last paragraph)!

  2. 2
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Horrific. Just horrific.

    How many such stories are there and how many more do we need tohear befrpe something is done toprevent them reoccurring?

    I hope her lawsuit puts them out of business. I hope it makes such a stink that Congress finally realizes that bishops shouldn’t be forcing women to die of miscarriages. I hope all Catholic hospitals start being told to obey the law or get out of the hospital business. I hope the ACLU eats their lunch.

    Yes. Absolutely! I hope so too.

  3. 3
    cressida

    Agree with mastmaker. Well said.

  4. 4
    mudpuddles

    I hope it makes such a stink that Congress finally realizes…

    I hope. I wish. But I despair… The following is as close to verbatim as I can get of a back and forth with a “pro-life” campaigner who called to my door here in Ireland today, and which I think sums up the mentality of these assholes (at least in my experience of them). I foolishly attempted to have a discussion with her, and challenged her about Savita Halappanavar and then this latest (Tamesha Means) case, which she was familiar with:
    (trigger warning for extreme risk of apoplectic rage):

    Moron: No, no no…. What you fail to see is that this wasn’t luck. There is no such thing, that’s a pagan notion. It was God. God, who loves this woman so much, made her deliver while at the hospital and not while she was at home. That’s as true a sign of his concern for us any you could find.
    Me (quite confused): What? Seriously?? Then why would god not make her deliver on her very first visit, instead of the third? She was in immense distress! If he loves her so much, why let this happen at all?
    Moron: Suffering can be instrumental in bringing us closer to God.
    Me: (open-mouthed silence for about 5 seconds). Are you fucking kidding me?
    Moron: (shocked at my reply) What? No, why? What?
    At which point my partner interjected, said “Fuck You!” to the moron, and slammed the door in her face.

    These are the shitheads who influence too many politicians in Ireland, the US and the world over. Sorry for my foul language, but I am in a foul mood. GOD DAMN I hate that these disgusting, compassionless people are running around the country spouting this bullshit at every door that opens to them.

  5. 5
    MrFancyPants

    This is a huge, huge issue because hospitals are merging. If you read the article closely, it says that the hospital she went to was the only one in her county. And this is not just a one-off, or a rural county problem: concerns have been raised about this very thing in King County here in Washington state, which includes a large chunk of the Seattle metro area.

  6. 6
    Ophelia Benson

    mudpuddles – AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH

    No need to apologize; I know EXACTLY how you feel, because it’s the same way I feel.

    It is a huge huge issue. And it’s still under the radar, just as it was when the National Women’s Law Center issued its eponymous report nearly 3 years ago.

    http://www.nwlc.org/resource/below-radar-fact-sheet-religious-refusals-treat-pregnancy-complications-put-women-danger

    We needa fix this. We’re making plans. We’re going to join up all the people and orgs and politicians and SHOUT until it’s on the fucking radar.

  7. 7
    mudpuddles

    The fact that the Irish Government, because of the influence of people like that vacuous moron, struggled to put through legislation that simply codified an already long-existing legal certainty on extremely limited abortion rights, sickens me. Even after the patent tragedy of Savita and Praveen Halappanavar’s story was graphically described for weeks here, they claim to represent the very best interests of mothers and of children. I think we’ll see the same thing now after Ms. Means’ case, and after the next one, and again, and again, and again… These people are either immensely stupid, or immensely evil.

  8. 8
    Argle Bargle

    mudpuddles #7

    These people are either immensely stupid, or immensely evil.

    These choices are not mutually exclusive.

  9. 9
    yahweh

    Merciless Health Partners is closer to the truth in this case.

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