Published On: Tue, Dec 3rd, 2013

ACLU sues Michigan Catholic hospital for Tamesha Means miscarriage case because no ‘therapeutic abortion’ was performed

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the nation’s Catholic bishops, calling medical care in hospitals “substandard” noting a miscarriage case in 2010 where no abortion was available.

"Right to Deathers" cartoon by Joyce Mary Wallace

“Right to Deathers” cartoon by Joyce Mary Wallace

The ACLU and the ACLU of Michigan have filed suit in federal court in Michigan charging that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, targeting the bishops’ “Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services,” which among other things forbid Catholic hospitals to perform abortions, even if the pregnant woman’s life or health is at risk.

Tamesha Means went into early labor in 2010 at 18 weeks when her water broke. A friend helped Tamesha by taking her to the closest hospital, Mercy Health Partners, where she was told she was likely to lose the baby.

Quoting the NPR report, Means was “told that the hospital would not do the therapeutic abortion she would get in a non-Catholic facility.”

She was discharged with medication, but returned very ill with a fever, bleeding and in pain. On her third trip, as they were prepping to discharge her, she delivered the premature infant who died after a few hours.

“Each time I went to the hospital, the same thing happened,” Means said via an ACLU spokeswoman. “They should act like it’s their mother or sister or daughter they’re treating. I pray to God someone stops this from happening again. My life could have been taken. I was in a very dangerous situation.”



Dr. Douglas Laube, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Wisconsin, says the care she got did not meet basic medical standards.

“A woman who is 18 weeks pregnant and who presents with these symptoms, the same that Ms. Means had, should be told that there’s virtually no chance that her fetus will survive and that continuing the pregnancy puts her at risk, and that the safest course of treatment would be to terminate the pregnancy,” Laube says. “From the outset, Ms. Means should have been given this information at the very least.”

“They have an obligation to ensure that the directives do not increase harm to women’s health and that women have the information they need,” said Louise Melling, an ACLU spokeswoman.

The Conference of Catholic bishops declined to comment on the lawsuit.

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required

About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

Displaying 2 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Pine 4 Better Daze says:

    The Anti-Christ Litigation Union is at it again!!

  2. ACLU Sues The Catholic Bishops For Allegedly Putting Women’s Health In Danger – ThinkProgress | Health News says:

    […] religious rules led to negligent care in miscarriage, ACLU …NBCNews.comThe Stir -The Global Dispatchall 170 news […]

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Get our Weekly Newsletter



The Global Dispatch Facebook page- click here

Movie News Facebook page - click here

Television News Facebook page - click here

Weird News Facebook page - click here