Horrified that the hospital could get away with this

One story from the ACLU report:

Jennafer and Jason Norris were shocked to learn in 2014 that Jennafer was pregnant after a rare birth control failure. They had recently moved to Rogers, Arkansas, for Jason’s work, and Jennafer had happily returned to the workforce now that her two children were in school. Jennafer did not realize that her contraception had failed and that she was pregnant until she was eight weeks along and experiencing symptoms of preeclampsia, which she recognized from her first two pregnancies. It was mixed news: Jennafer and Jason were excited to expand their family, but very worried about her health.

The pregnancy was difficult from the start. Jennafer spent six weeks on bedrest, making it impossible for her to continue to work. Then, at 30 weeks, her health took a severe downturn. She was admitted to Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas and diagnosed with fast onset of atypical preeclampsia, which caused symptoms ranging from blurred vision to excruciating headaches. Jennafer’s blood pressure was also extraordinarily high, putting her at great risk of a seizure or stroke. Her mother flew to Arkansas to help watch the kids while Jason sat vigil at Jennafer’s hospital bed. Everyone was terrified. Jennafer was scheduled to deliver by C-section, and she requested a tubal ligation at the time of the delivery— for obvious reasons, she could not risk getting pregnant again. But the hospital refused. While Jennafer’s physician was sympathetic, she explained with regret that she was bound by the Catholic hospital’s policy prohibiting sterilization. The only alternative, the hospital staff informed Jennafer, was to be treated at another hospital. The Norrises were outraged: The nearest hospital was 30 minutes away, Jennafer was in horrible pain and so dizzy that she could hardly see, and her medical team had warned her repeatedly that she could have a stroke or seizure at any moment. Jennafer and Jason decided that they could not risk it, and she went ahead with the delivery at the Catholic hospital.

The Norrises are horrified that the hospital could get away with this. As Jason observed, “[i]t’s shocking when a hospital that is open to the public, and takes government funding, can cite their faith as a reason to deny you a necessary medical service.” Jennafer summarized it simply: “They are jeopardizing my life.”

All because the Catholic church has a Special Precious Religious belief about abortion, and feels entitled to impose that belief on anyone it can.

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