ACLU Asks that Religiously-Affiliated Hospitals Provide Required Reproductive Healthcare
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service in a letter late last week "to ensure that religiously-affiliated hospitals provide emergency reproductive care as required by federal law," including emergency abortions. All hospitals receiving federal funds must provide all necessary emergency medical reproductive procedures despite religious affiliation under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) and the Conditions of Participation of Medicare and Medicaid (COP) according to the ACLU’s letter (see PDF).
The ACLU letter details several instances where patients in life-threatening positions were denied medically necessary procedures at Catholic-affiliated hospitals. The ACLU writes, "EMTALA requires hospitals to stabilize or transfer patients who are facing an emergency; however, a hospital cannot transfer a patient until she is stable." Currently, patients can be trapped at Catholic hospitals because they are too ill to be transferred and cannot receive necessary medical care. Under COP, patients must have full access to all available medical options and may request or deny any medical procedure.
The case that initiated ACLU action occurred in Arizona at St. Joseph's
Hospital and Medical Center after Sister Margaret Mary McBride was reassigned and "automatically excommunicated" in 2009 for approving an emergency abortion for a patient who suffered from pulmonary hypertension, which limits heart and lung function and can be fatal during pregnancy. The patient would have died if she had not had an abortion. McBride was a senior administrator at St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix.
Daniel Pochoda, legal director of the Arizona ACLU said in a press release, "While the hospital in this case made the right decision in saving this woman's life, the subsequent treatment of the staff could have a chilling effect on the staff at hospitals across the country that may face similar situations in the future." He continued, "religiously-affiliated hospitals – which are often the only hospital in a particular area – are not exempt from providing critical care to patients who come through their doors."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 5/18/10; ACLU Letter 7/1/10; ACLU Press Release 7/1/10
10/6/2015 Australia Deports Anti-Abortion Extremist Troy Newman - Anti-abortion extremist Troy Newman has been deported from Australia after an appeal to remain in the country failed to convince the High Court.
Newman was scheduled to speak at a 10-day Right To Life Australia event, but was detained in Denver, Colorado after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton cancelled his visa citing as grounds for revocation Newman's prior history of promoting violence against abortion providers and their patients. . . .
10/6/2015 Sheryl Sandberg Releases Women In the Workplace Study - Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and the founder of Lean In has launched Women In The Workplace, a study that looks at the state of women in corporate America.
The study, which was released last week, is an ongoing partnership between Lean In and McKinsey & Company. . . .
10/6/2015 Deal in Trans-Pacific Partnership is Reached - The United States and ten other countries have reached an agreement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, leaving environmentalists, human rights activists, women's rights activists, doctors, and many others concerned. . . .