Woman Sues Catholic Bishops Over Hospital Miscarriage

Catholic hospitals' abortion rule puts women at risk: lawsuit
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2013 5:34 PM CST
Woman Sues Catholic Bishops Over Hospital Miscarriage

A Michigan woman is suing US Catholic bishops after having a painful miscarriage at a Catholic hospital that did not offer her an abortion, the Detroit Free Press reports. In her lawsuit, Tamesha Means says she went to Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon in 2010 when her water broke after 18 weeks. Sent home twice by the hospital, Means felt "excruciating pain" when she says there was almost no chance of the baby surviving and Means' own health was at risk. Finally, when staff was writing up her discharge paperwork on her third visit, Means began to deliver.

"They never offered me any options,” said Means. "They didn’t tell me what was happening to my body." The US Conference of Catholic Bishops made no comment and deferred to his ethical and religious directives, which state that "abortion ... is never permitted." The ACLU of Michigan, which filed Means' lawsuit, argues that the anti-abortion stand at Catholic hospitals is putting religious belief ahead of patients' health and welfare. The lawsuit also alleges that four other similar cases ensued at the same hospital, NBC News reports. Reuters notes that of the 800,000 hospital beds in the US, nearly 15% are in Catholic institutions. (More Catholic hospitals stories.)

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