ACLU sues US bishops over anti-abortion directives for Catholic hospitals

(The Daily Caller) The American Civil Liberties Union and its Michigan affiliate are suing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops charging that its anti-abortion religious dictates resulted in a Michigan woman’s dangerous miscarriage.

The ACLU filed the lawsuit Friday on behalf of Tamesha Means, a pregnant woman whose water broke 18 weeks into her pregnancy and who sought medical aid at Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, Mich., a Catholic hospital.

According to the ACLU, while Means’ baby had virtually no chance of survival, the hospital sent her home twice without offering termination as an option, “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.”

On her third visit to the hospital, according to the civil liberties group, Means was about to be discharged from the hospital when she began to deliver the child. At that point, the group says, the hospital delivered the baby.

According to Louise Melling, the ACLU’s deputy legal director, the “baby died within hours of being born—at 18 weeks, it never had a chance.”

“They never offered me any options,” Means said in a statement. “They didn’t tell me what was happening to my body. Whatever was going on with me, they discussed it amongst themselves. I was just left to wonder, what’s going to happen to me?

Mercy spokeswoman, Joan Kessler, told The Daily Caller the hospital had no comment as it is still reviewing the “situation.” [More]

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