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.