The ACLU has the moral high ground. Will the church respond well?
But are they negligent if they fail to merely inform a pregnant woman that abortion is the safest option when her health is in danger and her fetus faces certain death? And that if she wants an abortion, she should seek help elsewhere?
That’s the crux of the issue in a negligence lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of Tamesha Means, a Michigan woman whose local hospital treated her with Tylenol and sent her home twice after her water broke 18 weeks into her pregnancy. The suit alleges that the hospital, the only one within 30 miles of Means’ home, did not tell her that her fetus was doomed, nor that inducing labor and terminating the pregnancy was the only way to reduce the risk of a dangerous infection.
But there is a twist in this case.
Instead of filing suit against Mercy Health Partners, the Muskegon, Mich., hospital where the incident took place, the ACLU took the unusual step of suing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which sets the rules for Catholic hospitals on many aspects of care, including abortion.