MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Five women have come forward claiming their health was put at risk during their pregnancies because of a Muskegon hospital’s religious affiliation, according to a report from the Guardian.
The report, by former Muskegon County health official Faith Froesbeck, accuses Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon of forcing five women between Aug. 2009 and Dec. 2010 to undergo dangerous miscarriages by giving them no other option due to its Catholic affiliation.
The report, apparently leaked to British newspaper the Guardian, says five women had symptoms indicating that it would be safest for them to deliver immediately. But instead of informing the women of their options, doctors decided to subject the women to prolonged miscarriages.
The report claims this action was taken because of Mercy Health Partners’ strict ban on abortion.
As a result, several of the women suffered infection or emotional trauma, or had to undergo unnecessary surgery, the report claims. None of the women were pregnant beyond 24 weeks, when an infant can survive outside the womb.
In 2013, 24 Hour News 8 reported on Tamesha Means, one of the five women described in the report, after the ACLU filed a lawsuit on her behalf due to claims she was denied treatment during a miscarriage at Mercy Health Partners hospital in Muskegon. Her case was dismissed back in June, however, she filed an appeal in July.
A spokesperson for Mercy Health sent 24 Hour News 8 a statement saying the Guardian report “digs up old allegations that have no merit. A federal court dismissed a similar claim last year.”
A 2013 tally found that 381 out of 3,786 of the country’s hospitals were Catholic, meaning they followed the bishops’ rules for healthcare, according to the Guardian.