ACLU Sues Catholic Bishops Because Catholic Hospitals Don’t Do Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 3, 2013   |   12:05PM   |   Washington, DC

The “pro-choice” manta abortion activists have employed for decades is supposed to mean that people have a choice if they want to get an abortion or participate in one. But pro-choice is truthfully pro-abortion more often than the pro-abortion side cares to admit.

Witness a new lawsuit filed by the ACLU, which is upset that Catholic hospitals don’t do abortions. As the Washington Times reports:

Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit in federal court against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, arguing that the group’s aversion to abortion caused medical staff at one Roman Catholic hospital to provide a pregnant woman who went into early labor subpar care.

The woman’s baby died due to complications.

Basically, the ACLU said the group’s anti-abortion guidelines were to blame for the woman’s negligent care, and that the woman never should have been put in the position of seeing her child die during early labor, Newsmax reported. The woman was treated at the Catholic-affiliated Mercy Health Muskegon in Michigan.

“It’s not just about one woman,” said Kary Moss, an executive director of the Michigan ACLU, in the Newsmax report. “It’s about a nationwide policy created by nonmedical professionals putting patients in harm’s way.”

The ACLU faulted the bishops for not telling the woman, Tamesha Means, early in her pregnancy that her decision to continue to full term posed health risks for her and for her child.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Michigan said Ms. Means was 18 weeks pregnant in 2010. Her water broke and she went to Muskegon, the closest hospital, for treatment. Over the course of several emergency room visits, no medical profession ever advised her “the safest treatment option was to induce labor and terminate the pregnancy,” based on her condition. Why? The ACLU alleges the hospital purposely avoided this advice, because of ethical directives from the bishops group.

And just who is suggesting that abortion would have been best for the mother in this given situation?

Dr. Douglas W. Laube, an OB at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, reviewed the case and suggests an abortion was best. Never mind that, according to blogger Jill Stanek, he’s an abortion practitioner and the Immediate Past Board Chair of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health.
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League commented on the lawsuit: “It makes perfect sense for the ACLU to sue the USCCB over abortion: it has been pro-abortion and anti-Catholic for decades. It became officially pro-abortion in 1967, six years before Roe v. Wade.”
“The ACLU is so radical in its defense of abortion that it has held auctions to pay for them. It is so radical in its hatred of Catholicism that it championed the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would have required Catholic hospitals to perform abortions or lose federal funding; it never made it to President Obama’s desk, though he pledged to sign it,” he added. “There is one more reason why the ACLU is now suing the bishops: its friend in the White House sponsors pro-abortion causes and anti-Catholic policies. The dots are not hard to connect.”
Stanek also commented on the lawsuit:
The other side is becoming increasingly hostile, attacking the religious freedoms of pro-life Christians with greater boldness.

Rest assured the viewpoint of ACLU’s “medical experts” is skewed to kill the baby. It isn’t true the baby “had virtually no chance of surviving.”



It also is not true “in these circumstances doctors usually induce labor or surgically remove the fetus to reduce the mother’s chances of infection.” Certainly no Catholic or pro-life hospital jumps to abortion in such cases. Nor does ACOG recommend it as as a first course of action over “counsel[ing] about… the risk and benefits of expectant management.”

The first noninvasive course of action is to allow nature to take its course, which in this case it did:

Tamesha Means, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, said that when she was 18 weeks pregnant her water broke and she rushed to Mercy Health, the only hospital in her county.

Her fetus had virtually no chance of surviving, according to medical experts who reviewed the case, and in these circumstances doctors usually induce labor or surgically remove the fetus to reduce the mother’s chances of infection.

But the doctors at Mercy Health, Ms. Means said, did not tell her that the fetus could not survive or that continuing her pregnancy was risky and did not admit her for observation.

She returned the next morning, bleeding and in pain, and was sent home again. That night she went a third time, feverish and writhing with pain; she miscarried at the hospital and the fetus died soon after.

At the news conference Monday, Dr. Douglas W. Laube, an obstetrician at the University of Wisconsin Medical School, described the care Ms. Means received as “basic neglect.” He added, “It could have turned into a disaster, with both baby and mother dying.”

Of course, hospital staff may have mismanaged this case particular case one way or another. But even if so, this by no means calls for the overturn of national Catholic/pro-life medical policy to try to save them both, if possible, or again, let nature take its course.

The other side claims not to want the government to meddle with medical policy on abortion. That is, until it’s convenient.