Tamesha Means

The ACLU report Health Care Denied shared the story of Tamesha Means, whose life was threatened after a Catholic hospital repeatedly sent her home in the midst of a painful miscarriage. Tamesha was 18 weeks pregnant with her third child when her water broke. She rushed to the nearest hospital, which is operated by Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, Michigan. Because she was only 18 weeks along, the pregnancy was not viable. Ending the pregnancy would have been the safest course of action, but the Catholic hospital’s religious-based policies forbade it—so they gave Tamesha two Tylenol and sent her home without telling her that there was virtually no way she could give birth to a healthy baby. When Tamesha returned the next morning, she was bleeding, in severe pain, and showing signs of an infection; again, she was turned away. Even after she returned a third time, in excruciating pain, the hospital staff began filling out the discharge paperwork. It was only when Tamesha began to deliver that the hospital provided care. Her baby died within hours.

Read Tamesha’s full story in the ACLU report Health Care Denied