Amanda Marcotte writes on the growing policy for Catholic Hospitals to refuse care for women who are losing their pregnancies. From her article in Slate:
In El Salvador, the eagerness to arrest women caught illegally aborting has led to the government charging women who have miscarried wanted pregnancies with murder. In Ireland, Savita Halappanavar lost her life when doctors refused to clear out a miscarrying pregnancy, even though it was clearly turning septic. These doctors decided, under Ireland’s strict abortion ban, that giving Halappanavar’s fetus an opportunity to experience a few days more of a heartbeat was more important than saving Halappanavar’s life.
While the United States has much more liberal abortion laws than Ireland and El Salvador, this extremism is affecting women’s medical care here, too. Catholic hospitals, which constitute 12 percent of hospital in the U.S., usually require doctors to refuse to help a woman who is miscarrying until the fetal heartbeat stops on its own, which is the same rule that led to Halappanavar’s death.
The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops over this issue. Details of the case are found in the article.