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

Hey to "RN", if you don't want to assist women in abortions, don't work for clinics that provide the service, don't make legislators make dumb laws like this! Fetus fetishists anti-woman, anti-choicers make me sick.

Anonymous

Thank you, above commenters, for proving that you prefer that women have less rights than a corpse.

Anonymous

http://openstates.org/al/bills/2014rs/HB31/documents/ALD00017702/

Wow, lazy...Google is there for a reason.

Anonymous

That is complete bull. If a Woman is in serious need of medical help while she is pregnant then she should get it. It is not right that they can refuse to help a pregnant woman if they have to end the pregnancy. If someone dies from this I hope the family will slap a huge lawsuit on the hospital and the legislature who came up with this bill. it says right is the doctors hippocratic oath first shall do no harm. Refusing to treat a pregnant woman who may have to end the pregnancy because of complications goes against the doctor's hoppocratic oath.

TAM

The bill in question is linked in PDF form in the article. HB31
2 156604-3
3 By Representatives Nordgren and Weaver

I just read it and it appears to me, although I'm not a lawyer, that everything in this article is true. It passed with something something like 70 yeas and 20 some nays.

For those that don't believe laws like this are being passed you need only look at HR7 passed by the US congress. This law would make it so abortions, medically needed or not, could not be covered by your insurance. In other words, if like the woman in the comments above went into an emergency room with an ectopic pregnancy she would have to pay for that life saving operation out of her own pocket.

So many of these laws, like the people who write them, seem to view the world in black and white,, good or evil right or wrong. Truth is hardly ever is life so simple. Women are living breathing human beings and they have rights too. So many of these laws would not save a fetus, they would only make it impossible to save a woman.

Anonymous

Wow, people. Go read the bill itself. there is a cite for it in the article. Did you read the bill? It says that a health care provider can choose not to perform the service as directed by their conscious. It does NOT say that she will not be helped anywhere in Alabama. It does NOT say that it will be illegal for someone to give her a DNC after a miscarriage or anything like that. It does NOT say that she can't get the help she needs. It is simply a bill that will protect providers should they choose not to get involved in ending a pregnancy. This kind of thing happens all the time. Pharmacists refuse to sell the Plan B pill but that doesn't mean that you can't get it down the street at another store... or even at the same store when a different pharmacist is on duty. The health providers are trying to protect themselves from lawsuits when they refuse to administer a service that would end a pregnancy. That's all this is... and this article is VERY misleading yet successful in getting people riled up about it.

Anonymous

"What a very misleading article. I can not imagine any hospital turning down a medical help to someone experiencing a miscarriage or "spontaneous abortion" (the medical term for miscarriage). This bill is designed to protect nurses, like myself, who don't want to assist a woman in killing her living, viable fetus (baby). It is not designed to keep any medical professional from giving women proper care during a "miscarriage" where the fetus is already dead. Very poorly written article. I hope people don't buy into this nonsense".

Did you miss what happened in Ireland when a young women died because her fetus was dying but the hospital refused to remove the fetus because the fetus still had a heart beat? There was nothing that could be done to save the fetus. Nothing. However, they could have saved mom. You are actually advocating for such healthcare. I'm against abortion. I hate abortion but mom always comes first. Without her, there is no baby. Any medical professional that refuses to save the life of mom for any reason doesn't deserve to be a medical professional.

Anonymous

A fetus is not a baby. A fetus is not an infant. A miscarriage is not an abortion. Abortion is legal in the United States of America. Those of you with a severe fetus-obsession are advised to seek mental health assistance ASAP.

Anonymous

"My body. My decision." It cuts both ways. Nice try pulling those heart strings, though. You can't have it both ways. We are ALL in TOTAL control of our own bodies or we are not. I doubt very seriously any healthcare professional would refuse to help in an unprovoked miscarriage situation, however I see many standing back when that abortion gone wrong comes through the door.

Anonymous

opps, jenny. read on. (d) Notwithstanding any other provision in this act,
4 in a life-threatening situation where no other health care
5 provider is available or capable of providing or participating
6 in a health care service, a health care provider shall provide
7 and participate in treatment, care, or procedures until an
8 alternate health care provider capable of providing or
9 participating in the emergency treatment, care, or procedures
10 is found or otherwise becomes available."

Section 7. The provisions of this act shall not
9 apply to health care institutions or employers who are
10 licensed by the State of Board of Health as abortion clinics.
11 Further, nothing in this act shall modify, amend, repeal, or
12 supersede any provision of Section 6-5-333 of the Code of
13 Alabama 1975, or any judicial interpretation thereof.

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