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Federal court backs Catholic hospital that did not refer for abortion

September 09, 2016

Upholding a lower court decision, a federal appeals court has ruled that a Catholic hospital in Michigan that did not present abortion as a treatment option did not violate laws against negligent care.

The ACLU filed the suit on behalf of Tamesha Means, a woman who miscarried her 18-week-old unborn child after her water broke and the Mercy Health Partners facility in Muskegon “did not tell Tamesha that terminating her pregnancy was an option and the safest course for her condition,” in the words of the lawsuit.

The ACLU alleged that the US bishops’ health care directives “prohibited that hospital from complying with the applicable standard of care in this case.”

“We do not doubt that [Means] suffered physical and mental pain, emotional injuries, a riskier delivery, shock and emotional trauma from making funeral arrangements for her dead child,” the US Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. “But these allegations are not sufficient to state an injury under Michigan negligence law.”

 
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