When Pro-Life is Anti-Health
by Sharon Tjaden-Glass
I’m an avid watcher of Samantha Bee.
I love her so much.
In a recent episode of Full Frontal, she dives into the murky intersection of women’s health, abortion, and miscarriage. While the media prefers the clear-cut terms of “pro-life” and “pro-choice,” Samantha Bee has brought together a collection of women’s interviews that demonstrate just how complicated these issues are.
Especially when those issues are governed by a specific set of religious views.
In these interviews, women describe how and why they were denied care by Catholic hospitals that were required to follow a Catholic health care directive that forbade doctors from providing birth control, performing tubal ligations, or performing abortions.
Even if the life of the mother was at risk.
I’ll let these women speak for themselves.
Mindy Swank: Forced by a Catholic hospital to continue an unviable pregnancy after her water broke.
“…he tried to breathe, he was turning blue… he wasn’t conscious. It wasn’t a magical time, like people think.”
Dr. Rupa Natarajan: Describes how the directives restricted her ability to care for her patients at the Catholic hospital where she worked.
“…to save her life, I needed to terminate the pregnancy. But because of this religious directive, I had to transfer her to another facility when she was medically unstable.”
Jennafer Norris: Denied a tubal ligation by a Catholic hospital during emergency c-section, even though her life would be at risk if she were to get pregnant again.
“I had to make a choice to survive and to give my child the best option.”
Melanie Jones: Spent two weeks bleeding and in unnecessary pain after a physician at a Catholic facility refused to remove her dislodged IUD.
“…Because my IUD was a non-hormonal type of birth control… (the doctor told me that) the sole purpose of your IUD is to prevent pregnancy, so we can’t help you.”
Take a good look at these women.
I hope that you remember them the next time you think that anyone–religion or government–should come between a woman and her health care.
I believe and will always believe that women deserve to be trusted to make the best decision. As Mindy Swank said,
“I was the only person in the world who loved my baby… and yet people who don’t know me and don’t care about us, who never have to live with the repercussions, were making decisions for us. And that just feels very wrong.”