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Catholic hospital argues that religious exemption allows them to deny emergency care to women

2 min read

Christianity Redefined

Eclectablogger Amy Lynn Smith has been following the story of a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Michigan against Michigan-based Trinity Health Corporation, a Catholic Church-affiliated healthcare system. The suit challenges Trinity’s practice of denying emergency healthcare services to women — in this case life-saving abortions — based on their religious beliefs.

From Amy’s piece announcing the lawsuit:

A hospital’s failure to provide pregnant women appropriate emergency care, including an abortion when circumstances warrant, violates a federal law called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, known as EMTALA. A public health educator in Michigan discovered that at one of Trinity’s hospitals alone, at least five women who were suffering from miscarriages and needed urgent care were denied that care because of the Catholic directives…

This week we learned that Trinity is defending its practicing by declaring itself to be exempt from EMTALA:

In response to the lawsuit, the hospital submitted a brief arguing that state and federal law allow Trinity to “refuse to allow abortions to be performed on hospital premises,” in the context of emergency miscarriage treatment when the woman’s life or health is at risk.

Let that sink in: Even when a woman’s life or health is at risk, this Catholic health system doesn’t feel a responsibility — legal, ethical or otherwise — to help her. And they’re perfectly comfortable saying it in a public legal document.

You read that correctly: a Catholic hospital — tasked with providing healthcare services — is perfectly okay letting a woman suffer or even die to ensure that the unborn fetus is born.

The worst part about this is that, in some areas of Michigan (and elsewhere, for that matter), a Catholic hospital is literally the only game in town. And you can’t always tell when a hospital is affiliated with the Catholic Church because their name often doesn’t mention it.

Read more about this outrageous and surprisingly under-the-radar story HERE.

[Image credit: Parentingupstream via Pixabay.]

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