Alabama Hospitals To Pregnant Women – "Sorry, honey, we won’t help you here."

It's what every pregnant woman fears. There she is excited to be pregnant for the first time. She is finally getting over the morning sickness, and she and her husband have just shared the happy news with their friends and family. Then, one night the unimaginable happens. She is lying in bed and she begins to feel immense pain and cramping. She knows something isn't right. She goes to the bathroom and she sees blood. Quickly, she wakes up her husband and the two of them rush to the emergency room.

All miscarriages can be devastating. But, for women in Alabama, this nightmare could soon get a lot worse. This week, the Alabama Senate is set to consider a cruel bill (HB 31) that would permit the hospital staff, including any doctor, nurse, counselor, or lab technician, to refuse to participate in any phase of patient medical care related to ending a pregnancy, even if that is what a patient like this woman needs to protect her own health and future fertility.

Yes, you heard that right. Under this law, if you or a loved one is pregnant and go to an emergency room in Alabama because of serious complications, every medical professional in that emergency room could refuse to help you if the care you needed to protect you from serious harm to your health required ending the pregnancy.

"That can't be true," you say. "How could a doctor at my local hospital turn me away and refuse to treat me? Isn't that malpractice?"

The Alabama legislature is one step ahead of you. The bill would also protect health care professionals from liability for refusing to provide necessary medical care. What's more, the bill would exempt the hospital from liability under Alabama law. This means that even if the hospitals know that the on-duty doctor won't provide appropriate medical care, Alabama law says that in most cases they have no obligation to find someone who will. In effect, the Alabama legislature is saying to a pregnant woman in distress, "Good luck. You are on your own."

Fortunately, there is something you can do. We may not all agree about abortion, but we can all agree that people in Alabama deserve the peace of mind of knowing that when they or a loved one go to a hospital seeking emergency care, they will get the medical care they need. Please help get the word out about this dangerous bill. Share this blog on Facebook and Twitter, and let politicians know where you stand by signing our pledge to fight back against attacks on women's health. But please act quickly. The House has already passed this dangerous bill and the Senate could take it up any day.

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Anonymous

This is a very misleading article, written to incite fear. Legally EVERY and ANY person going to the emergency department has legal right to a medical screening (EMTALA) to determine if there is an emergency medical condition that needs stabilizing. The patient MUST be stabilized within the capabilities of the facility, or transfered as necessary (admitted women's center, or larger facility) if the condition requires (surgery, etc). So if a woman arrives cramping and bleeding, she must be evaluated and determined stable/unstable, if unstable she must be stabilized by whatever means necessary medically. However if a woman show's up and 'wants' and 'elective' procedure such as abortion and she is stable and baby is stable-- that is not a procedure to be performed in an emergency dept. However the AL HB57 if you read it is about the safety of the woman, and raising the standards at clinics to prevent deaths from understaffed/undereducated staff-- an abortion is a significant procedure and the doctor should have a relationship with the local hospital for admitting purposes should the woman need it.

non-reactionist

Did anyone actually read the bill? I did. It states:
"d) Notwithstanding any other provision in this act, in a life-threatening situation where no other health care provider is available or capable of providing or participating in a health care service, a health care provider shall provide and participate in treatment, care, or procedures until an alternate health care provider capable of providing or participating in the emergency treatment, care, or procedures is found or otherwise becomes available."

Anonymous

I would like to read the bill. This seems totally unrealistic.

Anonymous

This is all a bunch of BS, first of all don't believe everything you hear/read. There is no hospital that would do this, besides, preventing this care would be an EMTALA violation and no hospital would take the chance of risking being persecuted for violating this law. I would really like to find the remaining info on is, I cannot find another website that even discusses this bill.

Sincerely an ER nurse:)

Anonymous

I just read this bill. It doesn't say anything like what this woman says it does. Totally false.

Anonymous

This article is a complete over dramatization. The bill very clearly states that it is limited to four services: abortion, human cloning, human embryonic stem cell research, and sterilization. It also very clearly states that in a life or death situation the provider must care for the patient at least until another provider can get there. And again it also clearly states that the providers must submit, in writing, any service that they object to performing no less than 24 hours prior to said service and if they don't submit it in writing they are still required to perform that service regardless of whether or not they object to it. Don't believe everything you read in the media...

canadian observer

You can see the bill text at Legiscan.com/AL/HB31/2014

canadian observer

http://legiscan.com/AL/bill/HB31/2014

Here you go

Anonymous

Please read the bill for your self.... you shouldn't jump on a bandwagon without knowing all the facts first hand

Anonymous

Alabama! You've got the rest of the union to help you along. What's goin' wrong?

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